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Senate Committee Passes Gay Marriage Proposal
A proposal to allow same-sex marriage in Illinois advanced at the statehouse today. The plan now heads to the full Senate, after a committee of lawmakers approved the measure.
The committee voted after hearing testimony from people supporting same-sex marriage. Dozens of people showed up to testify and listen to the start of the discussion at the statehouse. The measure now heads on to the full Senate, but we don't expect that body to take a vote until next week.
If lawmakers agree to the bill, it would make Illinois the 10th state to allow gay couples to marry.
Here's testimony from one of the couples who would be affected:
"Marriage to us is about a lot of things, but most importantly, it's about our family. Mercedes and I met and fell in love 21 years ago. We weren't expecting to to happen, but it did. And I thank God every day that our paths crossed 21 years ago."
The proposal eliminates the part of state law that prohibits same-sex marriage. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and the chair of the Illinois Republican Party are throwing their support behind the measure. Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, but not everyone is on board. Nearly 1,700 faith organizations from Catholic to Muslim say the proposal violates religious freedom.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield also wrote a letter that will be read at all masses this weekend opposing the idea.