(AP) -- Gay marriage has cleared a first hurdle to becoming law in Illinois after approval
in a state Senate committee.
The Senate Executive Committee passed the legislation Thursday, sending
it to the full Senate. It wasn't clear when that vote would take place.
If the measure becomes law, Illinois
would become the 10th state to approve same-sex marriage. It would be the first
state to adopt it after momentum built following several successes across the
nation in the November election and public encouragement from President Barack
Advocates are pushing for full gay marriage rights just 18 months after
the state recognized civil unions.
Many faith organizations are opposed on religious freedom grounds,
arguing the proposal would compel them to treat same-sex unions as the
equivalent of traditional marriage.