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February 5th, 2013
01:59 PM ET

Gay marriage a step closer in Illinois

By Nova Safo, CNN

Follow on Twitter: @nova_safo

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

Chicago, Illinois (CNN) -  Illinois lawmakers, emboldened by a new Democratic supermajority in the legislature, are considering legalization of gay marriage.

Advocates are confident a gay marriage bill introduced in the state Senate today will pass by mid-February. They are also working on building votes in the state House, and expect to pass the bill there before summer. Governor Pat Quinn has said he would sign a gay marriage bill into law.

Illinois State Senator Heather Steans sponsored the gay marriage bill:

[:53] “We’re sort of mirroring here in Illinois national trends. Public support for marriage has just been growing tremendously. Same thing in Illinois.”

Legalizing gay marriage is gaining support across the country, according to polls. But it remains less popular in some Midwestern and Southern states, than in the rest of the country.

Steans represents a relatively liberal district in the north end of Chicago. She says many of her constituents would be directly affected by the gay marriage bill:

[1:10] “This is one couple in my district, two moms – their child has kidney failure. They’re driving to the emergency room. They drop one of the moms and her son off, while she parks. She comes back in and is told she can’t go into the emergency room, because the real mom’s already there. And mind you, this is the mom who actually physically gave birth to the child. But because it’s another mom, she can’t be the real partner, and she wasn’t allowed in.”

Gay rights advocates say personal stories may be one reason that attitudes towards gay marriage are changing.

Even Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady spoke out in favor of gay marriage in January, urging legislators to vote for it. The move prompted open criticism in local news media from conservative Republicans, such as State Senator Jim Oberweis.

But with Republicans lacking the votes to stop the gay marriage bill, Oberweis seems more interested in moving on to other matters:

[3:19] “I hope that we resolve this issue sooner rather than later because the state of Illinois has some tremendous financial problems to deal with, which in my view is where we should be concentrating our focus and our time.”

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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Jamie

    Just because some of mankind finds homosexuality perfectly acceptable, God does not. It is an abomination to Him. Please stop listening to corrupt men and women who say homosexuality is fine. Please read the Bible.

    "You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination." Leviticus 18:22

    "Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" Romans 1:24-27

    February 6, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kathy B

    IT'S ABOUT TIME. WAKE UP AMERICA!!

    February 6, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
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