Gay marriage bill fails in Illinois; lawmaker vows ‘we will be back’

Illinois lawmakers failed Friday night to approve a bill to legalize gay marriage, but the bill’s sponsor pledged to bring it back for passage at the end of the year.

The 60 votes were not there for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, also known as SB 10, so Democrat leaders of the Illinois House of Representatives did not bring it up.

Several colleagues said “they could not cast a vote on this bill today,” said State Rep. Greg Harris, the bill’s lead sponsor.

“I have never been sadder to accept such a request,” he said tearfully, but they asked for time to go back to their districts, talk to constituents and return in November to support the bill.

“We will be back and we will be voting on this bill, in this legislature,” Mr. Harris said.

Friday was the last day when the gay-marriage bill could be passed in the regular session.

The measure can be revived in November in what is known as a “veto session,” but 71 House votes are needed to pass a bill in that session.

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