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Illinois House Committee To Vote On Marriage Equality Bill Today

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 26, 2013 2:30PM

Photo credit: Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist
The Illinois House Executive Committee is expected to vote Tuesday afternoon on Senate Bill 10, the legislation proposing marriage equality in Illinois, in the latest obstacle the bill must face before becoming law.

SB 10, aka the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, was passed by the Illinois Senate in an historic Valentine’s Day vote 34-21. Proponents of the bill expect it to clear committee and head to the House floor for a full vote, but they expect to see stronger opposition to the bill in the House than the Senate. The bill’s sponsors, Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), believe they have the necessary 60 votes for passage.

Steans and other supporters of the bill worked between the Illinois Legislature’s lame duck session and the current session to amend the bill so that it provides religious institutions protection from having same-sex marriage ceremonies at their facilities.

A poll conducted by Crain's and Ipsos Illinois following the Senate vote showed half of Illinoisans supported marriage equality. Support was obviously strongest in Chicago and the suburbs, but even 48 percent of downstate residents supported the bill.

On Monday a group of 23 Hispanic leaders, including former Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and Chicago Board of Education Vice President Jesse Ruiz, announced their support for marriage equality in Illinois and urged residents to call their representatives to vote in favor of the bill.

Equality Illinois is hoping the bill comes to a full vote in the House March 6 or 7. If it passes Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill into law quickly. Illinois would become the 10th state to recognize same-sex marriages if the bill becomes law.

Now here's the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus distilling what the bill is about, at its core, in song.