Illinois lawmakers hope for gay marriage OK in January

December 13, 2012

Tony Arnold

AP/File
Illinois State Rep. Greg Harris.

Some Illinois lawmakers think they have the votes needed to approve gay marriage.

Two Chicago Democrats say they think the time is right to call for legislation legalizing gay marriage in Illinois.

It comes a year and a half after the state legalized same-sex civil unions.

State Rep. Greg Harris and State Sen. Heather Steans are supporters of the bill.

Talking together by phone on Thursday, they said political and public sentiment is rapidly changing in favor of gay marriage.

“We can’t think of a good reason why government should treat one family with less respect than another in Illinois,” Harris said.

“We are hearing a real shift in tone and dialogue amongst our colleagues, too,” Steans said. “We think we’re in striking distance and really want to build on this momentum.”

Earlier this week, Gov. Pat Quinn told reporters he hopes to get the bill in January, but he said the issue may be more contested in the House than the Senate.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said the legislation is under review.

Illinois lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield in January for special sessions where they could take up pension legislation and gambling expansion.

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