The Illinois Senate has voted to legalize gay marriage, advancing a proposal that would make the state the 10th in the nation allowing same-sex couples to wed. Lawmakers approved a measure to lift a state ban on same-sex marriage yesterday with a 34 - 21 vote. The bill now moves to the House, where Democrats also hold a majority.
The vote came amid concerns from Republicans that the bill would force religious organizations to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their fellowship halls, parish centers or even in their sanctuaries. Bishops in Illinois, led by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, also oppose the idea saying it is against the "natural order." Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign the bill if the House approves it.