Illinois Senate approves same-sex marriage - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois Senate approves same-sex marriage

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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) -

The Illinois senate passes legislation that would make same sex marriage legal in that state.

Senators voted 34-21 to approve the measure, it's now being sent to the house where democrats also hold the majority.

Governor Pat Quinn has already said he will sign the bill if the house approves it.

The Valentine's Day vote marked the first time gay marriage has passed on the floor of either chamber of legislature making this day even more special for one local man and his partner.

"It drives home; I think the idea that we are loving committed couples," says Tim Rice, who has been with his partner for 19 years. "Valentine's day is about love and commitment and partnerships. It would just help to highlight the whole day as a whole and it would give us, my partner and I something extra special to celebrate today," says Rice.

There has been some changes to the bill.

No church or other religious organization will be forced to hold same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The house has 30 days from today for a full committee vote on the bill. Speculators say it could the vote could come earlier.

Today's vote comes two years after Illinois lawmakers approved civil unions-gay marriage supporters says it wasn't enough.

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