Illinois State House Passes Marriage Equality Bill After Months of Delay

Today the Illinois state House passed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (SB 10) on a vote of 61-54.  The Illinois state Senate passed the bill in February on a vote of 34 to 21.

Gov. Pat Quinn is an enthusiastic supporter of marriage equality, vowing earlier this year that “This year we’re going to pass and make a law called Marriage Equality in Illinois.”

Illinois is now set to become the 15th state (plus the District of Columbia) to treat all loving, committed couples equally under the law.

The Illinois marriage bill failed to pass an earlier vote in the House in May.  In the almost 9 months that have lapsed between the successful Senate vote and and today’s House vote, the legislatures of Rhode Island, Delaware and Minnesota have passed marriage equality laws, the U. S. Supreme Court reinstated marriage equality in California after striking down Prop 8, and same-sex couples began marrying in New Jersey after a court ordered that same-sex couples be allowed to marry.

The Hawaii state legislature is also on the cusp of passing a marriage equality bill.  Last week, the Senate overwhelmingly passed the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act of 2013 (SB 1) on a vote of 20 to 4.  Today a joint meeting of two House committees is on its fifth day of listening to public testimony on the bill.  Gov. Abercrombie has promised to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

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