With the General Assembly nearing the end of its spring session, gay rights advocates are vowing to call a vote at any moment to make Illinois the 13th state to embrace same-sex marriage.
When the year began, proponents were pushing to make Illinois the first state in the Midwest to etch gay marriage into law, just two years after approving civil unions. But since the Illinois Senate voted in favor on Valentine's Day, it's remained unclear whether supporters are one or a dozen votes shy of the 60 needed to pass it in the Illinois House.
Sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago has been coy about the vote count. Gov. Pat Quinn supports the idea and invited lawmakers to send him a bill to sign. In the meantime, three other states have adopted gay marriage—Minnesota, Delaware and Rhode Island.
Lobbying has taken a fierce tone: Advocates have brought television stars to the Capitol, spread letters from supportive business executives and heard testimony from pastors. Opponents have spoken out from the pulpit, on the radio and through waves of robocalls.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia. Minnesota is the most recent state to allow same-sex couples to marry after Gov. Mark Dayton signed legislation into law May 14. In Iowa, the state's Supreme Court ruled that Iowa's constitution required that same-sex couples be given the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples.