The Illinois House Executive Committee late Thursday tonight advanced SB-10, or the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, passed by the Senate last week, in a 6-5 vote. Tuesday’s vote was split along party lines. GOP lawmakers opposed the measure despite its endorsement by state Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady
Sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, said the bill is needed “because we need to treat all Illinois families equally under the law” but the status of people in civil unions is often misunderstood and has created a seperate and unequal status.
Kellie Fiedorek, an official with the anti-gay group Alliance Defending Freedom, argued against the bill. She said it failed to protect the religious freedoms of all Illinoisans because it “advances religious intolerance and discrimination towards Illinois citizens with sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Under the measure, marriage in Illinois would be allowed between two people rather than only a man and a woman. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed to sign the legislation, a move that would make Illinois the 10th state in the nation to allow same-sex marriage. The Senate passed the legislation with only one Republican vote on Valentine’s Day.