State

Ill. House committee Oks gay marriage 6-5

SPRINGFIELD – A House committee has endorsed allowing Illinois gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The House Executive Committee voted, 6-5, late Tuesday to move a measure lifting the state's ban on same-sex marriage to the floor.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris said his bill is a matter of treating gay and heterosexual couples equally under the law.

Advocates said the bill would help eliminate discrimination against children of homosexual couples.

But opponents say this measure steps on people's religious freedoms. They argue lawmakers don't have the right to redefine marriage.

The bill received Senate approval on Valentine's Day with Democratic support and a single Republican vote.

A House OK would send the matter to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He said he'll sign it.

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