gay marriage

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The leader of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus says the fate of a measure that would authorize same-sex couples to marry in Illinois may rest with 20 black legislators in the state House. 

Rep. Ken Dunkin is the head of the 30-member group. He announced his support for the legislation Tuesday.

The Chicago Democrat says he hopes to convince other black legislators to support the measure. He says the bill may fail if it doesn't get the yes vote from members of his caucus.

The top Republican in the Illinois House won't say how he would vote on a measure allowing same-sex couples to marry.  

House Minority Leader Tom Cross declined to publicly state his position yesterday, a day after Republican Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. came out in favor of the issue. Sullivan said momentum for legalizing gay marriage is building. Cross said House Republicans will vote based on their backgrounds, beliefs and personal experiences. 

An Illinois House Republican leader has announced his support for legalizing gay marriage in the state.

Rep. Ed Sullivan Jr. says his mother-in-law influenced his position. She's been in a lesbian relationship for about 20 years.

Sullivan is the second GOP House member to support gay marriage and the first member of Minority Leader Tom Cross's leadership team.  The proposal got Senate approval in February and a House vote is expected soon.

kirk.senate.gov

Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois says he supports same-sex marriage. Kirk said in a post on his blog yesterday that same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. He says what matters in life is who you love and "government has no place in the middle."

An Illinois House committee has endorsed allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. The House Executive Committee voted last night to move a measure lifting the state's ban on same-sex marriage to the floor.

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris says his bill is a matter of treating gay and heterosexual couples equally under the law.  Advocates say the measure would also help eliminate discrimination against children of homosexual couples. But opponents say the bill steps on religious freedom. They argue lawmakers don't have the right to redefine marriage.

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.

Thomas More Society attorneys say they aren’t too unhappy that a Cook County judge ruled against them in a gay marriage case. Chicago-based Thomas More Society attorney Tom Brejcha says he is looking forward to briefings on the motion to dismiss the case. A Cook County judge denied the law firm's request yesterday  to delay the case pending U.S. Supreme Court action on gay marriage.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the toughest issue for the state is its worst-in-the-nation public pension system, but he only made scattered references to it throughout his State of the State address Wednesday. Quinn supports Senate Bill 1, which would increase contributions and reduce benefits. The bill sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton failed to get a House vote. Illinois has nearly $100 billion in unfunded liability.

An Illinois Senate committee has approved legalizing gay marriage for the second time in a month. The Executive Committee voted 9-5 yesterday to move legislation giving marital rights to same sex couples to the Senate floor. The Democrats have a 40-member majority and say they have the votes needed. The same committee OK'd a similar measure just after the New Year in the final days of the last General Assembly. But a floor vote was scuttled because supporters feared they were short of the 30 necessary votes.

Legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois is expected to come up in a Senate committee meeting today and could see a floor vote on Valentine's Day. Democratic Senator Heather Steans is the bill’s sponsor. She says it's on the executive committee's agenda, and she's confident it has the support to pass the Senate next week.

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