The latest from Springfield:
Supporters of civil unions scrambled Monday to line up the final votes they need in the Illinois House, while opponents worked just as hard to block the measure in a lobbying duel that features competing religious leaders, constituent calls and e-mail blitzes.
“They have a full-court press on, and we have a full-court press, too,” said David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute.
Civil unions would provide legal recognition of gay couples and give them some of the same benefits automatically available to married couples — the right to visit a sick partner in the hospital and make decisions about their medical care, for instance. Backers consider it a matter of fundamental fairness, but critics argue it would amount to gay marriage under another name.
Supporters say they’re close to having the 60 votes needed to pass the measure, SB1716, in the House. If it passes there, backers think the Senate quickly would follow suit and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn would sign it into law.
I'm hearing reports that the civil union vote in the House will be called around noon – Central time.
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