Illinois House committee approves marriage bill, which now faces full House vote

Last night, February 26, 2013, the Illinois House Executive Committee voted in favor of advancing a bill that would extend the freedom to marry for same-sex couples across the state of Illinois. The bill will now be heard by the full Illinois House of Representatives.

Earlier this month, the Illinois Senate voted to approve the marriage bill, and IL Gov. Pat Quinn has been a long-time supporter of the freedom to marry. The affirmative vote by the IL House Executive Committee sets the stage for a full vote by the House and poises Illinois to become the tenth state to institute the freedom to marry for all loving and committed coupels.

Rep. Greg Harris, the House sponsor of the bill, applauded the committee's passage of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. He said:

The momentum we are seeing on this legislation is truly inspiring. Illinois is very close to treating all of its families equally under the law. I look forward to bringing this to a full vote in the House.

Last week, a Crain's/Ipsos poll demonstrated strong support for the freedom to marry in the state, with 50 percent of respondents saying they support marriage for same-sex couples, and just 29 percent saying they are opposed. The bill has seen endorsements from major newspapers across the state, including the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Daily Herald, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Illinois Unites for Marriage, which is chaired by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, Equality Illinois, and Lambda Legal, is working alongside legislators to pass the bill in 2013. Freedom to Marry is proud to be a member of the coalition working on the front lines to pass marriage in the legislature. Our Online Campaign Manager, Cameron Tolle (pictured, far right, with other members of IL Unites) has been on the ground in Illinois working with the coalition. 

For the past year, same-sex couples in Illinois have been permitted to join together in civil union, which extends some - but not all - of the protections and responsibilities that marriage provides.

Learn more about the freedom to marry in Illinois, and check out Illinois Unites for Marriage online and on Facebook.