On Friday evening, the ACLU of Illinois joined with others across Illinois expressing disappointment at the lack of action by the Illinois House on Senate Bill 10, a measure approving the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples across the State. While we are disappointed as advocates, we are most distressed for the thousands of couples across the State whose lives and families deserve the dignity and recognition of marriage.

In the hours since Representative Greg Harris emotionally announced that there would be no vote, our disappointment has only shored up our resolve. We will not stop working until the freedom to marry is enjoyed by all persons in Illinois, including our gay and lesbian neighbors, friends, family members and colleagues.

We are ready to go back to work. We are ready to work with State Senator Heather Steans, State Representative Greg Harris and other members of the General Assembly who have worked tirelessly and effectively to move Senate Bill 10 forward. We will continue to speak with every undecided legislator, with everyone who might cast an historic vote in favor of fairness and dignity for gay and lesbian couples. We will continue to look for every possible way to move our foes into the column of friend.

At the same time, we will continue to work outside of the legislature. Our landmark lawsuit on behalf of nine (9) gay and lesbian couples across the State of Illinois continues. We soon will be back in court fighting an effort to dismiss this lawsuit and urging the court to recognize that the Illinois Constitution does not permit the current discrimination in our marriage laws. We also await two critical rulings from the Supreme Court of the United States -- including one in an ACLU case that we anticipate will strike down the pernicious federal Defense of Marriage Act.

So, this work goes forward. While we remain disappointed at the House's lack of action, we must not permit such inaction to steal our energy or commitment to fundamental fairness. We thank all of those who have taken time to volunteer, to make phone calls, to send messages, to walk door-to-door, to visit Springfield behalf of Senate Bill 10. Your efforts have not been in vain.

Please keep fighting. We will win in the end.

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