Posted on 23 October 2013.
By D. David Kinney
Legalizing gay marriage would be a wonderful Christmas present for Georgia, but we don’t stand a chance of getting it so soon. However, there are three states that could see gay marriage legalized by Christmas: New Mexico, Hawaii, and Illinois.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is arguing a case today before the New Mexico Supreme Court regarding marriage certificates issued to gay couples earlier this year. Eight county clerks in New Mexico took it upon themselves to issue marriage certificates to gay couples and now the ACLU is asking New Mexico’s highest court if their unions are legal.
New Mexico is a state to watch because it doesn’t have a constitutional gay marriage ban and “its the only state where laws regulating marriages don’t have references to specific genders,” the Washington Post reported. Marriage equality advocates believe that this unique set of circumstances will allow them to soon realize success.
So, what is New Mexico’s chance for success? They’ve got a good chance of getting a positive court decision; however, their chances aren’t quite as good as Hawaii’s.
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie
Further west in Hawaii a special legislative session is planned so legislators can debate and actually vote on a same-sex marriage bill. The special session was called by Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie and starts next Monday. Hawaii’s Governor is a Democrat and its House and Senate are controlled by the Democrats. Governor Abercrombie supports the legislation and gay marriage advocates believe Hawaii will be the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. Michael Golojuch, president of the GLBT Caucus of the Hawaii Democratic Party told Hawaii News Now, “It’s not if we win — it’s how big we win.”
Hawaii’s chances? They’re great! This is a state to watch closely next week.
Marriage equality supporters back East in Illinois are once again urging lawmakers to approve gay marriage. Advocates this week marched around the Capitol in Springfield and rallied with speeches from U. S. Senator Dick Durbin and Illinois’ Governor Pat Quinn. The Illinois Senate previously passed legislation legalizing gay marriage; however, the bill failed in its House. Marriage equality advocates hope that enough representatives in the House will support the legislation during their fall session.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
Giving hope to Illinois’ marriage equality supporters is Governor Pat Quinn who not only rallied in support of gay marriage, but also publicly promised to sign the legislation if passed by the House and Senate. Yet, the success of gay marriage legislation in Illinois is completely dependent on timing. “Lawmakers will start filing re-election paperwork at the end of November, so casting a vote for gay marriage now would leave a month or so for challengers opposed to it to gather enough signatures to get on the March primary election ballot. That’s left some lawmakers pushing to delay a vote until after January, when they will know who they are running against,” the Chicago Tribune explained.
Will Illinois see marriage equality before Christmas? Probably not.