Victory in Illinois: IL Senate approves the freedom to marry

Today, the Illinois Senate voted in favor of a bill that would extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples across the state. By a vote of 34-21, IL Senators stood on the Right Side of History and took this historic step toward making Illinois the tenth state to embrace the freedom to marry for all couples.

The marriage bill will now face consideration by the Illinois House of Representatives. IL Gov. Pat Quinn has spoken consistently in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

Before the vote, members of the IL Senate - including sponsor Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) - delivered speeches on why they support the freedom to marry.

Rep. Greg Harris, a co-sponsor of the bill, said:

The momentum is building. More and more House members are telling me they want to be on the right side of history and that they intend to support the bill. Support for marriage equality is growing nationally, and in Illinois, it is clear that treating all families equally in the eyes of the law is the right thing to do.

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.

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