Gay Marriage BillThis afternoon, the Illinois Senate passed a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

SB0010 was passed with 34 votes in favor, 21 votes against and two abstentions.  The bill will now go to the House of Representatives, but it will need 60 votes to pass. If the bill survives the house, Illinois will become the 10th state to have a marriage equality law in the country.

If SB0010 is passed, no longer will marriage in Illinois be defined as an act between a man and a woman, but as an act between two people.

“Today, we are one step closer to marriage equality in Illinois,” Governor Pat Quinn said in a statement.

“This historic legislation will strengthen our state by allowing all committed couples to enjoy the same legal protections and benefits of marriage.”

The bill also includes two amendments involving religious organizations. It safeguards those organizations from being forced to perform same-sex marriages, and states that churches cannot be sued if they don’t allow same-sex ceremonies.

Although there isn’t a timetable as to when the bill will reach the House of Representatives, Rep. Greg Harris (D-13) sponsors the movement on the House side, and feels that it will be passed.

“Absolutely. This will be on the governor’s desk, and, hopefully, very soon it will be the law of the land,” he told the Sun-Times.

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