State

Debate on gay marriage legislation begins

SPRINGFIELD – The House sponsor of legislation that would make Illinois the next state to legalize same-sex marriage is urging his colleagues to support the bill as a matter of treating all Illinois citizens equally.

Democratic Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago addressed House members Tuesday on the floor before the bill was to be called for a vote.

The bill passed the Senate earlier in the year, but wasn't called for a House vote. Harris says he didn't have the votes then.

Advocates' momentum has been building since then, particularly with a fierce campaign, union support and lobbying from House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Opponents say marriage should remain between a man and woman. Some have vowed to line up primary challengers to those who vote in favor.

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The bill is SB10.

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