SPRINGFIELD - Thursday, the Illinois Senate passed SB 10 34 to 21 with two present, to legalize same sex marriage in Illinois. The bill will proceed to the Illinois House.
State Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Cicero) said Valentine's Day was day of celebration for Illinois because "This is a day we can send a message that we will obey the commandment to love one another, whether gay or lesbian."
Discussion on SB 10 heated up at one point when Democrat Senator Bill Haine (Alton) read passages from church theologians in opposition to same sex marriage. Senator Sandoval dismissed the Church's opposition based on their teachings against same sex unions based on morality.
"The authors of morality...They must be alluding to the Roman Catholic faith perhaps, who ... has anyone read the papers? They have a stellar record of morality? Quite the contrary, senators.
"Men that were pedophiles - the Church provided the no support - were allowed to ruin the lives of many of our loved ones. and today have done little to bring justice to those lives. The moral fiber of our society? Our religious leaders have failed us by example. Our faith leaders have a lot to bear for some of the failures of society. What do they do? They bury their heads in the sand. Do nothing. They walk away. And one of our faith leaders gave his two-week notice a few days ago. He's moving on ..."
Sponsoring Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) assured on several occasions that Amendment #2 to SB 10 would protect any religious institution and its facilities from being forced to host same sex marriage ceremonies or celebrations.
Three Republicans - State Senators Dale Righter, Kyle McCarter and Tim Bivins urged "no" votes against SB 10, as did Democrat senator Bill Haine.
The ACLU - IL Marriage Team posted a photo celebrating their victory soon after the vote: