On Tuesday the Illinois House Executive Committee passed and advanced a marriage equality bill in a six to five vote. Sponsored by St. Rep. Greg Harris, a Democrat from Chicago, the bill would bring equal marriage rights to Illinois.
The bill now heads to a full House of Representatives vote and should be voted upon in early March.
Committee members voted on the bill along party lines with the exception of Democratic state Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, Sr. who voted against it. This step exemplifies the momentum behind the marriage equality movement in Illinois, and supporters believe they already have 60 votes in the house. With those votes the bill would move to Gov. Quinn's desk for a signature. Democrats do have an overwhelming majority in the state House, however not all Democrats are expected to vote in favor of the bill.
Civil unions have been available for same-sex couple since June 2011. This bill would make Illinois the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage.