Illinois Senate Committee Approves Gay Marriage

By: AP
By: AP

UPDATE: SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Gay marriage has cleared a first hurdle to becoming law in Illinois after approval in a state Senate committee.

The Senate Executive Committee passed the legislation Thursday, sending it to the full Senate. It wasn't clear when that vote would take place.

If the measure becomes law, Illinois would become the 10th state to approve same-sex marriage. It would be the first state to adopt it after momentum built following several successes across the nation in the November election and public encouragement from President Barack Obama.

Advocates are pushing for full gay marriage rights just 18 months after the state recognized civil unions.

Many faith organizations are opposed on religious freedom grounds, arguing the proposal would compel them to treat same-sex unions as the equivalent of traditional marriage.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Senate Democrats are delaying a vote on a plan that would make the state the 10th in the nation to legalize gay marriage.

A spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton tells The Associated Press the proposal to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples will get a committee hearing Thursday but there aren't currently enough votes to pass it on the floor.

Spokeswoman Rikeesha Phelon says she doesn't know how many votes there are for the plan or when it might be called. Some Democrats were not in attendance Thursday. Phelon says no Republicans supported it.

Cullerton's Democrats have 35 seats in the Senate -- five more votes than needed for passage.

The Legislature is in lame-duck session until Jan. 9, when the new session is sworn-in.


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