Chief sponsors of a gay marriage bill
in Illinois are expected to introduce versions in the House and
Senate on Wednesday.
Senator Heather Steans and
Representative Greg Harris, both Democrats from Chicago, will use the
first day of the new legislative session to introduce their measures.
The move follows an unsuccessful bid to
approve the legislation during the General Assembly's lame-duck
session, which ended Tuesday.
Steans managed to have her version of
the bill approved in committee only to call off a vote on the Senate
floor. Steans said three supporters, two Democrats and a Republican,
were not present to vote.
“Last week, the Senate Executive
Committee made history by approving same-sex marriage and gave our
efforts incredible momentum,” Steans
is quoted as saying in a statement released by Equality Illinois,
the state's largest gay rights advocate. “With the full support of
Senate John Cullerton, I am confident legislators will grant all
Illinois couples the freedom to marry this year.”
“We are one step closer to equality
in the Land of Lincoln,” Harris said. “The bills we file today
will treat all couples equally under the law. We are going full
steam ahead on this.”
New members of the General Assembly
will be sworn in on Wednesday, increasing Democratic majorities in
both chambers. Illinois currently recognizes gay couples with civil
Chafee eager for Rhode Island to legalize gay marriage.)