Illinois Gay Marriage: House Committee Vote Ahead Tuesday

FILE - In this file photo taken June 1, 2011, in Chicago, From left, Jim Darby, 79, and his partner Patrick Bora,73, and Jane
FILE - In this file photo taken June 1, 2011, in Chicago, From left, Jim Darby, 79, and his partner Patrick Bora,73, and Janean Watkins, 37, and her partner, Lakeesha Harris, 36, wait in line at the Cook County Office of Vital Records to obtain civil union licenses. Emboldened by recent victories at the polls and what they see as rapidly shifting attitudes in favor of gay rights, supporters say Illinois is ready to become the next state to allow same-sex marriage _ though they acknowledge getting a bill passed isn't a done deal and won't be easy, even with Democratic majorities in Springfield. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois could overcome one of two remaining obstacles in a committee vote Tuesday.

The Illinois House Executive Committee is slated to take up the bill that was approved earlier this month by the state Senate on Tuesday -- and its chief sponsor, state Rep. Greg Harris, told the Associated Press that he expects it to pass.

The committee vote was initially scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday but was pushed back due to other issues being considered by state lawmakers. Once the session begins, it will be streamed live online.

If approved in a committee vote, the bill -- titled the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, Senate Bill 10 -- would then advance to be considered by the full House in a vote that could be taken as soon as March 1, but would more likely take place on March 6 or 7, according to the Windy City Times.

On Monday, a group of 23 prominent Latino community leaders and elected officials -- among them former Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and Sylvia Puente, the Latino Policy Forum's executive director -- signed onto an open letter urging state lawmakers in the House to approve the bill.

If the bill achieves the 60 votes needed for passage in the House, it would next head to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. Gov. Quinn has vowed to sign the bill and has been consistently vocal in his support in recent months. If signed into law, the bill would make Illinois the tenth U.S. state to offer legal same-sex marriage.

Recent polling has suggested that a majority of Illinoisans support marriage equality in the land of Lincoln.



Marriage Equality In Illinois