Unites for Marriage is rolling out a $2 million campaign that will span
the state in an effort to help pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage
Fairness Act, the coalition announced Tuesday.
The group plans to position 15 field organizers across Illinois that will help
rally up the bill's supporters. The coalition said it would specifically
focus its attention on state lawmakers who are against the measure
that would legalize same-sex matrimony in Illinois. The effort will also include mail and phone campaigns targeting those legislators, according to a statement from the coalition.
"House parties" designed to provide
community members with information they need on how to get involved in
the fight will also be held. In addition, the coalition is planning a media campaign, which will feature Illinois residents who are currently being
denied federal benefits, according to the statement.
The state Senate approved the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act on Valentine's Day. The House did not take it up during the spring session, however, because the votes were not all there for its approval.
According to the coalition's chairman Jim
Bennett, the upcoming months of organizing and outreach are crucial, as
lawmakers may consider the marriage equality act this fall.
Funds for the new efforts will come from the ACLU of Illinois, Equality Illinois and Lambda Legal, among many other organizations and donors.