The Chicago Tribune on Monday called on Illinois House lawmakers to follow in the footsteps of the Senate and approve a gay marriage bill.

In an op-ed titled A spouse is a spouse, the Tribune, America's eighth largest daily by circulation, wrote: “The Senate passed the measure on Thursday, 34-21. We urge the House to finish the job.”

“Allowing same-sex couples to wed under the law would not devalue traditional marriage,” the editors wrote. “It would affirm the bedrock values that underlie and sustain such unions.”

“Marriage promotes stable families, safeguards the interests of children and rewards committed relationships.”

“Recognizing same-sex marriages demonstrates respect for personal freedoms and keeps government out of the intimate affairs of citizens. More people in same-sex relationships are adopting or giving birth to children; this provides the security of a legal commitment for those children. It's the fair thing to do.”

Referring to increasing support, editors added, “It's also smart politics.”

“Ladies and gentlemen of the House, it's your turn to step up.”