Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois

Same-sex marriage poll: 52 House members likely in favor, 50 likely against, 16 undecided

SPRINGFIELD-If a vote were held today on legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, a virtually equal split would exist in the House with more than a dozen on-the-fence lawmakers left to decide the legislation’s fate, a newspaper poll shows. In its latest edition, the Windy City Times published a running tab on where House members are on Senate Bill 10, and that roll call shows supporters are short of the votes needed for passage. Fifty-two legislators are identified as either certain or likely supporters of the legislation, while 50 members are listed as certain or likely opponents to it, the newspaper for Chicago’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities reported. Of the remaining 16 House members identified as undecided, 11 are Democrats, with five from the House Black Caucus, including its chair, state Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan). She has declined to return phone messages left at her office by the Chicago Sun-Times. Another five on the fence are Republicans, including Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville), Rep. John Anthony (R-Morris), Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville), Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Jacksonville) and Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), the newspaper reported. The legislation’s chief House sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), has not divulged how many “yes” votes he has nor said if he intends to call the measure for a vote during the six-day legislative session that begins Tuesday and concludes Nov. 7. As currently written, the legislation would require 71 votes to pass the House, though that passage threshold would drop to 60 votes if Harris waits until January 1 or amends the legislation to change its effective date. The Senate has already passed the legislation, and Gov. Pat Quinn has indicated he would sign it upon House approval.