Gay marriage activists from Chicago are in Springfield today, to lobby state lawmakers to legalize gay marriage.
A rally and march will be held at the State Capitol beginning at 1 p.m. Governor Pat Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin are among those taking part in the March on Springfield.
A poll commissioned by Equality Illinois, a gay rights advocacy group, found 52% of registered Illinois voters support legalizing marriage for gay and lesbian couples. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia now allow gay marriage.
Illinois allows same-sex couples to register as civil unions; but many legislators fear a voter backlash if they grant same-sex couples all the rights of heterosexual couples.
There’s another potential hurdle for the gay activists; legislators are preoccupied with the state’s pension underfunding crisis.
Governor Pat Quinn is pressing the general assembly to take fast action to reduce the state’s $100 billion unfunded pension liability.
Tomorrow opponents of gay marriage will gather in Springfield for what they are calling “Defend Marriage Lobby Day”. They will encourage lawmakers to vote against same-sex marriage.