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State Reps May Be Planning Gay Marriage Bill

By Chris Bentley in News on Jan 10, 2012 4:40PM

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist
Some Illinois lawmakers have reportedly begun strategizing with LGBT groups to legalize gay marriage in the state.

State Representatives Greg Harris, Deb Mell, Ann Williams, Kelly Cassidy, Sara Feigenholtz and Sen. Heather Steans are in talks with Illinois organizations about introducing a bill that would establish marriage equality in Illinois, according to the Windy City Times.

The bill will most likely wait until at least 2013. That means its supporters will need to survive another election, or scout candidates campaigning on marriage equality.

Thousands of same-sex couples have entered into civil unions since Illinois began issuing licenses in June, and not just in Chicago. Those who did can file joint state income tax returns.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still stands in the way of nationally recognized gay marriage, but a same-sex couple in Pennsylvania recently became the latest to challenge DOMA on constitutional grounds in court. Same-sex marriage in Illinois, if legislators indeed pursue it in 2013, could up the pressure for national recognition of marriage equality.