The Pantagraph
March 4, 2013

As Springfield lawmakers took another step toward legalizing gay marriage last week, Central Illinois couples who stand to benefit are waiting to see if it becomes law and what it will mean, while local officials are wondering how they’ll accommodate an expected surge in licenses. Illinois legalized civil unions for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples in 2011, essentially creating a marriage-like legal standing for same-sex couples. Activists said it was not the same and pushed for full marriage equality for same-sex couples, an effort that came closer to success when an Illinois House committee approved a Senate version of a bill to legalize it.