Lawmakers to Debate Same-sex Marriage Again

Feb 4, 2013

A panel of state senators is scheduled to take up the issue Tuesday. State Senator Heather Steans is the sponsor of the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois. She says she wants the state to approve it before the U.S. Supreme Court hears a case later this year on the federal government’s ban on gay marriage.

Sen. Heather Steans

“If that gets overturned, then couples who have access to marriage will have access to the 1,100-plus benefits that come with marriage. And if we only have civil union here, those couples will not have access to all those benefits. So I do believe there’s a sense of urgency.” - Sen. Heather Steans

The president of the Senate has said same-sex marriage will be easier to pass in the Senate than in the House.

Last month - lawmakers tried to legalize gay marriage before the winners from November’s election were sworn in - but failed to get the necessary support.

Illinois Public Radio's Tony Arnold contributed to this report