It’s a happy Valentine’s Day in Illinois as the Senate voted today 34-21 in favor of legislation that would allow same sex couples to marry.
Ally State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and out State Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) reintroduced Bill 10 in January at the start of Illinois’ 98th General Assembly. The same bill passed through committee during the previous legislative session, but failed to reach a full Senate vote before the lame duck session ended.
During the Senate hearing today, Sen. Steans emphasized the importance of the bill: “It is time we stop having to explain to our children and grandchildren why someone would be treated differently under our laws…I am confident that those of us voting yes will count it as one of our most fulfilling votes.”
The bill now advances to the state House of Representatives, where if it passes, Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will immediately sign it into law. Last week, he called marriage equality “a matter of fairness and equal rights under law.”
“We took the first step towards marriage equality two years ago when I signed civil unions into law. Since that day, thousands of committed couples in 92 counties across our state have entered into civil unions,” Quinn said. “Now is the time for the next step in providing equal rights to all people in Illinois.”