Illinois gay and lesbian couples received a Valentine’s Day gift from the Illinois Senate. The Democrat-led Senate passed legislation, in a 34-21-2 vote, this afternoon that would allow same-sex marriages in Illinois, according to Huffington Post.
The gay marriage bill now goes to the House.
If it is signed into law, marriage officially would be changed in state law from an act between a man and a woman to two people. The legislation says nothing in the proposed law would force a religious denomination or minster to “solemnize any marriage,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
If the bill is also approved by the state House of Representatives, Illinois will join Washington, D.C. and nine other U.S. marriage equality states, according to the Huffington Post. Illinois has had civil unions available for same-sex couples since June 2011.