by JEEVAN NAGPAL Staff Writer
The Illinois Senate took a big step on Valentine’s Day, approving legislation that will legalize same-sex marriage.
The heavily Democratic Senate passed the legislation with a 34-21 margin and will be evaluated by the House. If the bill is ratified by the House, Governor Pat Quinn said he would sign it into regulation, making Illinois the 10th state, along with the District of Columbia, permitting gay couples to wed.
“Full equality for all people is right for Illinois,” Governor Quinn said.
Under this measure, the definition of marriage would change to an act between two people, instead of an act between a man and a woman.
This measure also states that churches and other religious organizations are not required to celebrate same-sex marriages, nor can churches be sued for refusing to wed same-sex couples.
Illinois Republican Senator Kyle McCarter opposes such a bill. He says, “People have a right to live as they choose; they don’t have the right to redefine marriage for all of us.”
In contrast, a new poll revealed that a majority of Illinoisans support the bill and hope that their state will legalize same-sex marriage this year.