Illinois Senate Executive Committee advances marriage bill
February 05, 2013
This afternoon, the Illinois Senate Executive Committee voted in favor of advancing a bill that would extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples across the state. By a vote of 9-5, legislators in the committee stood on the Right Side of History and took the first step toward making Illinois the tenth state to embrace the freedom to marry for all couples.
The marriage bill will now go before the Illinois Senate for a floor vote on February 14. It will later face House committee votes and a vote by the full House. IL Gov. Pat Quinn has spoken consistently in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
In the first week of January 2013, the last week of the previous legislative session, the Senate Executive Committee in IL also advanced the marriage bill, marking the first time the freedom to marry has ever passed out of a legislative body in Illinois and signalling huge momentum for marriage in 2013. Although the 2012 General Assembly ended on January 8, meaning that time to move the bill through both chambers of the state legislature was not on our side, lawmakers in the House and Senate wasted no time on the bill; on the first day of the 2013 General Assembly, Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Greg Harris reintroduced the bills.
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.
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.