Two Illinois lawmakers say they're "within striking distance" of getting legislative approval for gay marriage and hope to send a bill to Gov. Pat Quinn shortly after the new year.
Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans say they'll call for a vote on a gay marriage bill when the Legislature reconvenes in January.
The Chicago Democrats say public opinion favoring equal rights for same-sex partners is moving rapidly. The fact that four states voted in favor of the issue or opposed a ban on it in November helps.
Harris successfully brought civil unions to Illinois in June 2011. He and Steans say a gay marriage law wouldn't interfere with religious beliefs or force places of worship to recognize same-sex marriages.