Illinois Senate to vote on marriage equality bill on Valentine’s Day: Senate president

Chicago Phoenix
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February 1, 2013

Gay and lesbian couples throughout the state may have more than each other to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, told the Chicago Sun-Times he plans for the Senate to vote on — and pass — a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state on Feb. 14. “I’d like to pass it out of committee next week and pass it on Valentine’s Day,” Cullerton told the paper during a Thursday meeting with its Editorial Board. Local advocates working to pass the bill, including a coalition of LGBT rights groups, have recently pointed to Feb. 5, when the chamber goes back to session, for movement on Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Cullerton and other advocates expect the bill to quickly pass through committee and then again on the full Senate floor, where it needs at least 30 votes. The bill’s chief sponsors in the Senate and House, Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), respectively, reintroduced the legislation shortly after the swearing in of the 98th General Assembly Jan. 8 and anticipated fast progress. “The wind is at our backs,” Harris said. “This will move quickly.”