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Gay marriage passes Illinois Senate: Future murky in House

Gay marriage passes the Illinois Senate with a 34-21 Valentine's Day vote. It faces a tougher sell in the Democrat-controlled House, despite support from Gov. Pat QuinnSar.

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A supporter of same-sex marriage wears a sticker on her jacket. The Illinois Senate just voted to end Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage.

Seth Perlman / AP / File

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The push to allow same-sex marriages in Illinois got its biggest victory to date Thursday with a historic Valentine's Day vote in the state Senate, and supporters expressed confidence that within two weeks President Barack Obama's home state could join nine others that have lifted their gay-marriage bans amid shifting public opinion.

With a 34-21 vote, senators advanced the measure to the House, where it could be a tougher sell even though Democrats also hold a majority there. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, has pledged to sign it into law should the House pass it too.

Senate approval was a significant — and at times elusive — step forward for the issue, just two years after legislators approved civil unions. Never had a plan to lift the gay-marriage ban won approval on the floor of either chamber.

 
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