Same Sex Marriage: Illinois moves one step closer towards Gay Marriage

Posted on Feb 14, 2013

Valentines Day takes on particularly special meaning this year for gay and lesbian couples in the State of Illinois. On this February 14, 2013, the state Senate lifted a ban on same sex marriage, voting to legalize gay marriage in a 34-21 vote. Only one Republican, State Senator Jason Barickman of Champaign, joined the Democrats with a vote in favor of the measure.  This comes two years after civil unions were recognized in Illinois, which proponents claim does not go far enough.  Before same sex marriage becomes a reality in Illinois, the state's House of Representatives, in which Democrats also hold a majority, must pass the bill.  Governor Pat Quinn has stated that if the bill successfully passes both houses, he will sign the bill into law.  This move would make Illinois the tenth state to legalize gay marriage, and the first state in the Midwest to do so. Before its passage, however, the senate added a provision which states that churches and religious organizations cannot be required to perform the marriage ceremonies, nor can they be sued for a refusal to offer same sex ceremonies.