Same-sex marriage took a big step toward becoming law in Illinois today. The Illinois House of Representatives approved gay marriage in a narrow vote.
Supporters of same-sex marriage have been pushing hard for legalization for the better part of a year. The state Senate passed it back on Valentine's Day, but it's had a tougher go in the House. Until now. Representative Sam Yingling, a Democrat from Round Lake Beach, is one of a handful of openly gay state legislators.
"We are a family that is treated differently under the eyes of the law. We are a family that does not have the same protections that your family has."
Opponents say same-sex marriage violates their religious liberty, and argued for keeping what they call "traditional" marriage. Nevertheless, as Gov. Pat Quinn and other top officials looked on, the measure passed on a vote of 61-54.
The legislation still has to go through another vote in the Senate -- where a spokeswoman says Democrats hope to make that happen this afternoon. After that, Gov. Quinn says he'll sign it into law. If all that happens as expected, the first same-sex weddings in Illinois will happen next June.