State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) told the Windy City Times on Tuesday that House Bill 5710, The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, will be up for a hearing in the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday evening. "We are doing everything we can to see this passed out of the senate this week," Rick Garcia, of The Civil Rights Agenda, told ChicagoPride.com. "Senator Steans and President John Cullerton are deeply commited to marriage equality and are pulling out the stops." Steans said she plans to call the bill to vote on Thursday. Both the House and Senate have until Jan. 9 to pass a bill before new legislators are sworn in. Momentum for marriage equality in Illinois began last month when Steans and Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) said that they will push for a vote during the General Assembly's lame-duck session. In February Harris, along with two other openly gay representatives, Deb Mell (D-Chicago) and Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), introduced HB 5170, which would give gay and lesbian couples in Illinois the freedom to marry.
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