BY REGINA GARCIA CANO, ASSOCIATED PRESS
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Despite urging from President Barack Obama in his home state and fierce on-the-ground campaigning, a legislative measure that would have made Illinois the 13th state to allow same-sex couples to marry didn't rally enough support from lawmakers in the House.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, gave an emotional testimony before lawmakers, explaining that he simply didn't have the 60 votes the measure needed to pass and wouldn't be calling it for a vote. For weeks, he'd been furiously lobbying his colleagues, including members of the House Black Caucus.
"Several of my colleagues have indicated they would not be willing to cast a vote on this legislation today ... and I've never been sadder to accept such request," he said. "They asked me for time to go back to their districts and reach out to their minds and hearts."
Legislators applauded him after the speech.
Obama's home state was lining up to become the 13th to approve same-sex marriage after months of arduous and sometimes elusive lobbying efforts by gay-rights advocates and opponents. The state's Senate approved the measure on Valentine's Day, and Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, had pledged to sign it into law.