The Illinois State Senate has successfully passed a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in the fifth-largest state in the nation, according to The Chicago Tribune.
The Valentine's Day vote passed 34 ayes to 21 nays, with 2 abstaining.
The law now goes to the Illinois House of Representatives. If the bill passes in the House, it would go to the desk of Gov. Pat Quinn, who has indicated that he would sign it.
The Illinois House is controlled by Democrats, which control 60 percent of the votes. Still, the fight is expected to be more difficult in the larger chamber.
The measure would change state law to make marriage an act between two people rather than an act between a man and a woman. The bill explicitly says that it would not force a religious denomination to solemnize any marriage, nor does it force churches to lease their facilities to gay couples against their wishes.
Illinois legalized civil unions two years ago.
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