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Gay marriage in Illinois' future?

Nov. 28, 2012 at 5:52 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- The Illinois Legislature could have dueling bills on same-sex marriage this year, one to legalize it and the other a constitutional amendment to ban it.

State Rep. Gregory Harris, a Chicago Democrat, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he thinks Illinois is ready for gay marriage even though the civil union bill he sponsored two years ago only squeaked through the Legislature. Harris said that in just a short time there has been a "dramatic shift" in public attitudes.

While a few state legislatures have legalized gay marriage, until Nov. 6 voters had always rejected it. This year, marriage referendums passed in Maine, Maryland and Washington, while in Minnesota voters turned down an amendment limiting marriage to heterosexuals.

Another Democrat, state Sen. Bill Haine of Alton wants a constitutional ban. But he says even supporters of gay marriage should favor putting the issue up to the voters.

" We could have a great debate among our citizens," he said.

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