- (Photo: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang)
The National Organization for Marriage, which advocates for legally defining marriage as being between only one man and one woman, declared victory in Illinois after the House failed to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage.
Brian Brown, president of NOM, said in a statement that the news from Illinois was a "stunning victory" for "our allies and supporters, as well as Illinois families who have worked tirelessly with us to preserve marriage in Illinois."
"With a coalition that included strong support from the African American community as well as so many others throughout the state, we did what nobody in the intelligentsia thought was possible," said Brown, whose organization spent over $125,000 in grassroots efforts to defeat Illinois Senate Bill 10.
"This is a huge victory at a pivotal time, and totally undercuts the lie that somehow same-sex marriage is inevitable."
On Friday, the Illinois House of Representatives failed to vote on a bill passed by the State Senate that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the Land of Lincoln.
The bill had the support of many gay rights groups as well as the official endorsement of President Barack Obama, who once served in the Illinois Legislature.
According to multiple sources, the reason for the failure to bring the bill to a vote emanated from House leaders not having enough support for the legislation to pass it.
Both supporters and opponents of the bill attributed the failure of the bill to a lack of support from the African-American community.
Anthony Martinez, executive director of the LGBT advocacy organization The Civil Rights Agenda, said in a statement that his group had been "about the lack of diversity and inclusion in this process."
"Unfortunately the Sponsor didn't include people of color in the sponsorship of the bill and the rich white guys from the north side of Chicago thought they could get it done with their checkbook. That was the downfall of this bill," said Martinez.
Brown of NOM also attributed the bill's failure to the support his group got from the African American Clergy Coalition, among others.
Two years ago, Illinois passed a bill that legalized civil unions for gay couples. With a heavily Democratic Legislature, the bill will likely be proposed again next session.
Democratic Governor Pat Quinn had stated his support for same-sex marriage and intends to sign a bill should it come to his desk.