The Illinois Senate Executive Committee on Feb. 5 voted 9-5 for a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the state.
Equality Illinois, the state's largest LGBT civil rights group, issued a statement this afternoon, "Today's historic passage of the marriage bill through the Senate Executive Committee sets us on the clear path to recognition of the freedom to marry in Illinois.
"The freedom to marry in Illinois is inevitable. But Illinoisans must continue to reach out to their Senators and Representatives until the minute that the bill comes up for a floor vote."
The Senate leadership hopes for Sen. Heather Steans bill to reach a floor vote on Valentine's Day.
Then would come action in the House, where Chicago Democrat Greg Harris is the lead sponsor.