Illinois Senate Panel Advances Marriage Equality Bill in 9-5 Vote

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee has advanced a marriage equality bill to the floor:

ILMoments ago, the Senate Executive Committee passed the SB10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act, out of committee on a vote of 9 to 5. Senate President John Cullerton, a leading supporter of the legislation, has announced he will call the floor vote on February 14.

Said Rick Garcia, Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project and Senior
Policy Advisor for The Civil Rights Agenda, the leading and largest
Illinois Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights
advocacy organization: "We are all very excited to see this bill move forward. We are looking forward to a full vote in the Senate and we expect it to pass. It should be a very welcome Valentine's Day gift for the thousands of couples and families that are anxiously awaiting the passage of this bill. The momentum continues to build in Illinois."

Jim Bennett, Midwest Regional Director of Lambda Legal, released a statement:

"The day when loving, committed same-sex couples in Illinois can marry feels imminent, and Lambda Legal is energized by this vote. Our state is ready to become the tenth state where same-sex couples have the freedom to marry, and we urge people across the state to call their senators and urge them to vote in favor of the bill when it comes to a vote as early as next week.  It's just time."

Lambda Legal, the ACLU, and Equality Illnois have formed the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition.