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It's almost official. Five months after many expected the vote to be taken - at the end of the normal legislative session, and in the last week of the Illinois' legislature's "veto session," the Illinois House will finally vote on legalizing same sex marriage.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  The Illinois House will take a final vote on marriage equality legislation Tuesday, a leading advocate tells BuzzFeed. Previously, sources had said a vote would not take place until Wednesday at the earliest.

"Today is the day," said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda.

As lawmakers began Tuesday’s session, Rep. Greg Harris, the chief sponsor of the marriage equality bill in the House, amended its language to change the date the legislation would go into effect, and to seemingly reiterate exemptions for private clubs do not want to host marriages for same-sex couples.

The amendment removes lines including the 30-day effective date, which will allow Harris to pass the bill with only 60 votes instead of 71. Rules dictate that bills passed in this "veto session" like this can go into effect June 1, 2014.

Since there is an amendment, the bill will have to go back to the Senate, which passed the original legislation earlier this Spring.  Fortunately, passage is expected to be swift and certain in the Senate.

It's not 100% clear whether the votes actually exist to pass the legislation in the House. Although many people think the vote would not have been called if the votes weren't lined up, Harris, the bill's sponsor, did for all practical purposes promise a vote "in the Fall" come what may when he failed to secure the necessary votes in June.

Harris has not revealed the number of "yes" votes he expects the bill to have. Sources say the current count stands at 58 or 59 and that several factors are at play Tuesday, such as the possibility of absent lawmakers.
I believe sixty votes are necessary for passage, regardless of absentees.

Meanwhile, in Hawaii, the spectacle of a people's bigots' filibuster continues as their own House continues to take testimony from over 5000 people who signed up to speak about how most of them hate the idea of marriage equality.

Legislative progress on same-sex marriage had to wait another day. The Hawaii House Judiciary and Finance committees decided at 10:30 p.m. Monday to defer any decision-making on legislation granting same-sex couples the right to marry until Tuesday, at the earliest. The 30-member joint panel had heard more than 50 hours of testimony on Senate Bill 1 by Monday night when Finance Chair Sylvia Luke announced they were recessing.
It is hoped that testimony will be completed today and a vote of the committees holding the hearing will send the bill to the House floor pronto. (Hawaii's Senate passed the legislation about a week ago in the special session called for this purpose by the Governor.)

By the end of the week we could have two more states in the marriage equality column, with a decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court a possibility at any time.

11:40 AM PT: Very choppy live feed here at the bottom.

11:41 AM PT: This more direct live feed might be better.

11:43 AM PT:
Towleroad has also heard independently that a vote is imminent and that a key co-sponsor, Rep. Naomi Jakobsson of Urbana, has an ill family member and is not yet in Springfield, and that the vote will be taken after she arrives.

11:43 AM PT:

12:00 PM PT: From a comment at Equality on Trial.

12:17 PM PT:

1:48 PM PT:

2:01 PM PT: 2:04 PM PT:

2:05 PM PT: See this new diary further discussion.

Originally posted to jpmassar on Tue Nov 05, 2013 at 11:35 AM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Milk Men And Women, Angry Gays, LGBT Kos Community, Land of Lincoln Kos, Chicago Kossacks, and LGBT Rights are Human Rights.

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