Illinois lawmakers are expected to take up same-sex marriage again this week. A state senate committee is scheduled to take up the issue Tuesday. State Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, is the sponsor of the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois. She said she wants the state to approve it before the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case later this year on the federal government’s ban on gay marriage.
"If that gets overturned, then couples who have access to marriage will have access to the 1,100-plus benefits that come with marriage," Steans said. "And if we only have civil union here, those couples will not have access to all those benefits. So I do believe there’s a sense of urgency."
The president of the Senate has said same-sex marriage will be easier to pass in the Senate than in the House.
"We will pass it first because we have apparently more votes in the Senate," Senate President John Cullerton said last week.
In January, lawmakers tried to legalize gay marriage before the winners from November’s election were sworn in, but failed to get the necessary support.