SPRINGFIELD, IL (IRN) – An Illinois Senate committee is expected to take up the issue of same-sex marriage this afternoon.

Earlier today, Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon urged Illinoisans to contact their legislators and encourage them to vote in favor of the legislation.

“Marriage equality is gaining widespread support in Illinois and is gaining momentum nationwide because more people recognize the importance the institution plays in protecting and recognizing families,” Simon, a longtime advocate for the lesbian and gay community, said. “Passing a marriage equality bill in Illinois is the right thing to do and we should do it now.”

Simon, along with State Reps. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago) and Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) joined with “Modern Family” actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson to call on Illinoisans to post words of support on their representatives’ Facebook and Twitter accounts using the hash tag #ILequality. Simon is sponsoring a lobby day in Springfield Thursday and is encouraging people to wear bow ties to show support.

If senators pass the legislation Thursday – which is expected – it heads to the House for a vote, where the outcome is uncertain. If the measure is passed and signed into law, Illinois would be the 10th state to recognize same-sex marriage.


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