In a 6-5 vote late Tuesday night, an Illinois House committee approved a bill that would make “marriage” between two men or two women legal in the Land of Lincoln. The committee passage clears the way for a full House vote as early as next week.
Although the Illinois Senate passed the bill—the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act”—on Valentine’s Day, the legislation faces a battle in the House, which is viewed as more conservative. Not all Democrats there support the measure. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has already promised to sign the bill, and said he planned to personally call House members to gather their support.
If Illinois liberals muster the 60 House votes necessary for passage, Illinois will become the 10th state to legalize same-sex “marriage.” Homosexual civil unions have been legal in the state since June 2011.
Before the committee vote, Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer Kellie Fiedorek criticized the bill, according to the Chicago Tribune, telling lawmakers it “advances religious intolerance and discrimination towards Illinois citizens with sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Otis Moss III, the current senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, President Barack Obama’s former church in Chicago (previously led by controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright), lent his support for the bill, saying it “would ensure all citizens are included in the cathedral of democracy.”