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.