SPRINGFIELD-- On this Valentine’s Day, love is in that air, especially at the state Capitol. The Senate is expected to vote today (Thursday) on a bill to make same-sex marriage. The measure, which extends the same rights to same-sex couples that opposite-sex couples already enjoy, would go to the House for a vote if it passes the Senate.
House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) can’t say if any support from Republicans is there, but says lawmakers will want to review the bill first. “There might be [some Republican lawmakers in support of the bill] but I have not spent any time in caucus and I haven’t personally read the bill myself,” Cross said. “I do know there are a few people that have expressed some interested in it, but I think once it gets out of the Senate the attention will be a lot more on us and we’ll talk about it then.”
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a proponent of marriage equality, says she has been working on members in the House in hopes of gaining enough support for the measure. “I think the best sales pitch there is if you can’t make up your mind, ask your kids,” Simon said. “Our kids are away ahead of us in terms of understanding the importance of marriage equality and I think that’s how we’re going to get to the right answer.”
Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would sign the measure if it ends up getting sent to his desk. “I support that bill,” Quinn said. “I intend to sign that bill this year and I think we will make it a law and move forward.”
If the measure passes both chambers and is signed into law Illinois would be the 11th state legalizing gay marriage.