Gay marriage this fall?
Today was good news for Illinois gay marriage supporters after Rich Miller at Capitol Fax posted a new statewide poll from Southern Illinois University that shows legalizing gay marriage has support of nearly 44 percent of voters here.
That's about 10 percent more than two years ago, Miller points out.
And 32 percent support civil unions, which Illinois already has, for a total of 76 percent supporting one or the other.
So here's the immediate question: Will supporters try to legalize gay marriage in Illinois after the election and before the new General Assembly takes office in early January?
They aren't saying yet. It could depend on the outcome of the election. If Democrats take more seats in the House and Senate, for example, perhaps supporters won't feel a rush to get it done.
And they just might not be able to find enough support among lawmakers who just voted for civil unions a couple years ago, partly based on an argument that it wasn't a full step to marriage.
But the legislature is already home to at least two-dozen lame-duck lawmakers that don't have to worry about re-election - a number that will grow after the Nov. 6 election and a number that is likely not to be that high again for at least 10 years.
And the Democrats could lose seats in November, making approval more difficult in a more Republican Statehouse. So that brief, several-week window at the end of the year could become pretty tempting for gay marriage advocates.