Sanctity of Marriage in Illinois Under Attack Again
Gay marriage bill clears Senate panel, moves to full Senate
SPRINGFIELD-Legislation that would make Illinois the 10th state to legalize gay marriage cleared a Senate panel Tuesday with new language designed to offer churches greater safeguards from having to perform wedding ceremonies if they object.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), passed the Senate Executive Committee by a 9-5 vote and now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote that is expected to occur on Valentines Day.
The same panel approved similar legislation during a lame-duck legislative session in early January. But the plan stalled when backers acknowledged absences of three key votes kept them below the minimum 30-vote threshold they need to meet in the Senate to pass the legislation.
Gov. Pat Quinn praised Tuesday's development, which he said marked another step toward "providing equal rights to all people in Illinois."
"I thank the members of the Senate Executive Committee for advancing this measure today and look forward to working to pass this bill through both houses in the days to come," he said in a prepared statement.