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Ill. House Committee Oks Gay Marriage 6-5

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File photo of a person placing a ring on another person's finger. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

File photo of a person placing a ring on another person’s finger. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) A House committee has endorsed allowing Illinois gay and lesbian couples to marry.

The House Executive Committee voted 6-5 late Tuesday to move a measure lifting the state’s ban on same-sex marriage to the floor.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris says his bill is a matter of treating gay and heterosexual couples equally under the law.

Advocates say the bill would help eliminate discrimination against children of homosexual couples.

But opponents say this measure steps on people’s religious freedoms. They argue lawmakers don’t have the right to redefine marriage.

The bill received Senate approval on Valentine’s Day with Democratic support and a single Republican vote.

A House OK would send the matter to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He says he’ll sign it.

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