Illinois Gay Marriage Bill Advances in Senate

An Illinois Senate committee on Tuesday approved legalizing gay marriage for the second time in a month.

The Executive Committee voted 9-5 to move legislation giving marital rights to same sex couples to the Senate floor. Democrats with a 40-member majority say they have the needed votes.

The same committee OK'd a similar measure just after the New Year -- in the final days of the last General Assembly. But a floor vote was scuttled because supporters feared they were short of the 30 necessary votes.

Sponsoring Sen. Heather Steans reworded the legislation at insistence of Republicans. The Chicago Democrat said the new language makes clear that places of worship don't have to open their doors to gay-marriage ceremonies.


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