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Illinois House Approves Bill Paving Way For Gay Marriage

Posted: November 5, 2013

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Illinois is now poised to become the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage. The House was the bill's biggest hurdle; the state's Democratic governor and the Senate support the measure.

Jerry Bowman (left) and David Strzepek demonstrate at a marriage-equality rally in Springfield, Ill., on Monday.

Jerry Bowman (left) and David Strzepek demonstrate at a marriage-equality rally in Springfield, Ill., on Monday. Seth Perlman

With the approval of the Statehouse, same-sex marriages are one step away from being legal in Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune reports the bill received 61 votes, just one more than necessary to send the bill to the Senate, which is expected to pass it.

The House was the bill's biggest hurdle because Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the bill into law.

The Tribune adds:

"The House vote followed more than two-and-a-half hours of debate in which supporters said it's time for Illinois to make marriage equal for all and opponents raised concerns about protecting the institution of marriage and the religious beliefs of those who say marriage should be between a man and woman.

"Sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris told colleagues that a series of 'proud moments and difficult decisions that have brought honor upon the people and the state of Illinois, and we find ourselves at another one of those moments today.'"

The Chicago Sun Times reports those opposed to the bill quoted the Bible. Rep. Tom Morrison said voting against the bill did not mean he was a bigot.

"Everyone's free to live how they wish, and this state has no interest in interfering with that. But the state does not have an obligation to sanction every form of living arrangement that is demanding a sanction," he said, according to the Sun Times.

If ultimately successful, Illinois would become the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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