February 1, 2013
Well, this is great: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton told the Chicago Sun-Times editorial board yesterday that he wants his chamber to pass a proposed marriage equality bill on Valentine’s Day, February 14. “I’d like to pass it out of committee next week and pass it on Valentine’s Day,” he told the Sun-Times.
Cullerton’s expression of confidence in the bill comes after an unsuccessful attempt by marriage equality advocates in the state to pass an equal marriage bill during the lame-duck legislative session in early January. The bill was successfully voted out of a Senate committee, but due to procedural hurdles, was not considered by the full chamber. The Illinois Senate is seen as more supportive of the measure than the state House, although Democrats hold sizable majorities in both chambers.
Sen. Heather Steans, the bill’s chief sponsor in the Senate, is currently working to modify the legislation’s religious protections provisions in an effort to woo undecided legislators.
“I think under the language we’re working on, everyone is a lot more comfortable there’s no threat of a religious place having to open up to a religious ceremony if they don’t want to,” Steans told the Sun-Times.