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Mark your calendars:

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) will open the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality on Tuesday, Oct. 22 with a welcome to the thousands of Illinoisans traveling to the State Capitol to call for passage of equal marriage in Illinois.

The governor, who signed civil union legislation into law on Jan. 31, 2011, has promised to sign marriage equality legislation if passed by lawmakers.

The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (SB-10) cleared the Illinois Senate on Feb. 14, but despite strong support from local and national Democratic leaders, including President Barack Obama and Sen. Durbin, the measure stalled in the Democrat-controlled House on May 31.

After the House failed to vote on the measure in May, Windy City Times co-founder and publisher Tracy Baim reached out to 12 other individuals to become co-chairs and built support amongst LGBT and allied organizations to help organize the march on the first day of the fall veto session, which is Oct 22. - Chicago Pride, 10/18/13

Here's some more details:

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon and Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka confirmed they will also join the rally to show their support for marriage equality.

The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will get underway at Noon on Tuesday, October 22, 2013, with a free one-hour concert. The 90-minute rally will begin with welcoming remarks by Gov. Quinn and Sen. Durbin at 1 pm. A march around the Capitol will begin at 2:30 pm. Up to 5,000 people are expected to attend from all over Illinois. - The Vital Voice, 10/17/13

Hopefully this march will be a big success and even help out with raising money for the Equality illinois campaign:

Leading up to a possible showdown on same sex marriage in Springfield next week, marriage equality advocates have raised a pile of cash for their lobbying operation, but have invested precious little in political financial firepower - PAC money - that they have also pledged to raise to bolster the bill's prospects.

After State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) declined to call the legislation, Senate Bill 10, for a vote before the Illinois House adjourned on May 31, pledging instead Veto Session action, angry advocates exploded in all sorts of rhetorical swagger and vowed aggressive plans to pass the bill in the fall, including funding reelection challenges against lawmakers leaning "no" and boosting those leaning "yes".

On June 17, Equality Illinois, the state's top gay rights group, rolled-out an announcement that it was launching a $500,000 "Fight Back for Marriage" campaign focusing on the 2014 election.

Equality Illinois pledged to use half of the dough toward an "educational campaign" focusing on the collar counties, Downstate, and Chicago neighborhoods where they decided same sex marriage support was slim.

Additionally, Equality Illinois said that it would raise the other $250,000 "in order to match marriage opponents dollar-for-dollar on the political battlefield." - Huffington Post, 10/16/13

And the call for marriage equality in Illinois needs to happen sooner than later:

Supporters of marriage equality in Illinois are pressing for a legislative vote as the general assembly gears up for the veto session to begin next Tuesday.

Backers of marriage equality legislation say the word on the street is that there are enough votes to pass the bill (SB 10), which did not go up for a vote in the Illinois House last session due to a lack of support. The state Senate has already passed the bill.

“We don’t comment publicly on roll call,” Campaign Manager for Illinois Unites for Marriage John Kohlhelpp told The State Journal-Register's editorial board. “We take that from our sponsor (Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago). He says we are within striking distance.”

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) says she and Harris have been working to garner support for the bill in the House, adding that she is optimistic about the bill's prospects for passage. - Progress Illinois, 10/17/13

If you would like to get involved with Equality Illinois' campaign, you can click here to sign up:

A little off topic, I really like what Quinn is doing with actor Gary Sinise:

It's called the "Get Skills to Work" coalition. Created by General Electric, it creates a partnership between them, Illinois manufacturers and community colleges to train vets for in-demand careers.

Sinise quoted Calvin Coolidge to explain his strong support, "The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten, and I think that's true. We have a great resource in our veteran community."

Illinois is the first state to join the "Get Skills to Work" coalition. - My, 10/16/13

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Oct 18, 2013 at 10:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, Land of Lincoln Kos, and Madison County, Illinois Kossacks.

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