Activists and lawmakers backing legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois are regrouping and recounting potential “yes” votes in the Illinois Senate after key members of the chamber reportedly said they will be absent from Thursday’s proceedings in the General Assembly’s lame duck session. At least two senators — and possibly three — have been called away from Springfield due to family emergencies, according to sources on the ground at the statehouse, who wished not to name the lawmakers. Proponents of the bill in Springfield, who were anticipating potential victory in committee and then on the full Senate floor on Thursday, are regrouping their efforts in hopes of progress before the end of the day. “Everyone is counting heads again and finding out when they will be back,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, a Chicago-based LGBT rights group pushing for the bill. “This is not something to be worried about.” The development comes after a failed vote to bring marriage equality legislation to the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday night, also due to several absent senators.
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