The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) has endorsed legislation legalizing gay marriage in Illinois.

Chief sponsors of the marriage bill last week said they will push for a vote next month during the General Assembly's lame-duck session.

“We think we can get this done in January,” state Senator Heather Steans, a Democrat from Chicago, told Chicago Business.

In an announcement released over the weekend, the ISBA's 203-member policy-making Assembly said it had voted to support the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act introduced in February by Rep. Greg Harris and two other openly gay representatives, Deb Mell and Kelly Cassidy. Harris was also the primary sponsor of Illinois' civil unions law.

Harris has previously said he would only consider pushing the legislation when he has the votes. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, Harris downplayed the likelihood of a vote in January.

“The timing is right for us to push this,” Harris said last week.

“Folks are seeing what's going on around the country,” he added, a reference to voters in four states affirming such unions on Election Day.

The ISBA has more than 32,000 members and offices in Springfield and Chicago.

If approved, Illinois would become the 10th state to extend marriage rights to gay couples.