Posted at: 12/13/2012 2:35 PM
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Two Illinois lawmakers say they're "within striking distance" of getting legislative approval for gay marriage and hope to send a bill to Gov. Pat Quinn shortly after the new year.
Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans say they'll call for a vote on a gay marriage bill (HB5170) when the Legislature reconvenes in January.
The Chicago Democrats say public opinion favoring equal rights for same-sex partners is moving rapidly. Four states voted in favor of the issue or opposed a ban on it in November.
In June 2011, Harris led the successful push to allow civil unions in Illinois. He and Steans say a gay marriage law wouldn't interfere with religious beliefs or force places of worship to recognize same-sex marriages.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)