Lawmaker Considering Gay Marriage Acceleration

Illinois' same-sex marriage legislation makes gay and lesbian couples wait until June to get married.
But Senator Don Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat, says he wants to shorten those engagements.

He's behind a proposal that could allow same-sex marriages in early 20-14.
 
"We would substitute an immediate effective date, which means as soon as this new bill is signed into law, it would accelerate the effectiveness of marriage equality. And whether that's Valentine's Day of next year or some other date, we could make sure folks have access to equality earlier than they would after the governor signs this bill."
 
Gay-rights advocates back the idea.
But rekindling the same-sex marriage debate could open up raw political wounds.  Harmon says he's sensitive to that, and is not trying to upset anyone.

 

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Illinois is set to become the 15th state and largest in the heartland to allow same-sex couples to marry.

State senators approved technical changes Tuesday to a measure legalizing gay weddings, shortly after a historic favorable vote in the state House. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he'll sign it into law.

Illinois will start allowing same-sex marriages next summer.

Fourteen states plus Washington D.C., currently allow same-sex marriage.

The vote in Illinois came after months of arduous lobbying by gay-rights advocates, but the bill was never called for a House vote earlier this year because the sponsor said there weren't enough votes. Proponents say momentum had been building.

Opponents have said marriage should remain between a man and woman.