Illinois State Senator Heather Steans has said supporters of a gay marriage bill are “close” to lining up needed votes to pass the measure in the upcoming lame duck session.

Speaking to NBC Chicago, Steans, a Democrat from Chicago, said the goal is to pass marriage equality in the upcoming session which includes outgoing members.

“We are working very hard to try to have the 30 and 60 votes in lame duck, so that we can call it,” Steans said. “That's our intent right now. That's the goal. We still think we're close. We'll have a much better feel once we're back there.”

Steans also refuted the assertions of the Christian conservative Illinois Family Institute that marriage equality would impinge on religious liberty.

“No religious institution will have to solemnize a relationship it doesn't want to. This really is a civil marriage. I think there will be some religious institutions that want to perform same-sex marriages, but nobody has to.”

“People have just moved a long way on understanding it and thinking it's the right thing to be doing,” she added.