An Illinois House panel on Tuesday approved a gay marriage bill and sent it to the full House, where it is expected to face its final hurdle before Democratic Governor Pat Quinn, a supporter of the proposed legislation, can sign it into law.

With a 6-5 vote, the House Executive Committee approved the measure. All four Republicans on the panel voted against passage.

The united Republican front was not a surprise given that three of the members had voted against the state's civil unions law two years earlier and Rep. Joe Sosnowski of Rockford, who was elected to office in 2010, had publicly stated his opposition to marriage equality.

Ryan, who is raising 3 children with her partner Daphne, testified that the couple wants to marry because “our fear is that we won't be able to be together and take care of each other when it really counts.”

Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, founder and president of the Ruth Institute, a project of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), said that marriage equality would create inequalities because children would be denied either a mother or a father.

Also testifying against the measure was Linda Jernigan, who claims she “exited homosexuality” 15 years ago, argued that being gay is not a civil right.

The vote comes nearly two weeks after the Illinois Senate approved the bill which seeks to make Illinois the 10th state to legalize marriage equality.