Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gay Marriage Supporters Plan Push during Lame-Duck Session in Illinois; Proponents Call Move 'Symbolic,' with Civil Unions Already Allowed

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gay Marriage Supporters Plan Push during Lame-Duck Session in Illinois; Proponents Call Move 'Symbolic,' with Civil Unions Already Allowed

Article excerpt

Illinois lawmakers who support gay marriage announced Thursday they will attempt to pass a law legalizing it in early January, during the final days of the General Assembly's lame-duck session.

In a conference call with reporters, state Rep. Gregory Harris, D- Chicago, and state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, confirmed they will push for votes in Springfield before the Jan. 9 seating of the new legislature.

"We think we're within striking distance," said Steans.

The current legislature will return to Springfield on Jan. 2, leaving just a week to get it done before the new legislature is seated.

Harris, one of several openly gay legislators in Illinois, said his informal surveys of his fellow legislators shows that opposition to the idea has dropped dramatically since the Nov. 6 elections, in which four states either approved or declined to outlaw same-sex unions. Harris declined to say how many votes he believes he has in the House.

Harris said the public is starting to recognize the issue as a variation on "the Golden Rule: We should treat all families equally. …

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