Gay marriage expected in committee hearing

CHICAGO (AP) — Legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois is expected to come up in a Senate committee meeting Tuesday and could see a floor vote on Valentine's Day.

That's according to state Sen. Heather Steans. The Chicago Democrat and bill sponsor says it's on the executive committee's agenda and she's confident it has the support to pass the Senate next week.

Last week, Senate President John Cullerton said he'd like to approve gay marriage on Feb. 14. He says he believes the bill has the 30 votes needed to pass and move to the House.

Steans agrees. The legislation would grant same-sex couples rights available to heterosexual couples.

Advocates say the time is right because of momentum in other states and changing public opinion.

However, some religious groups oppose the idea.