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Supporters, opponents of marriage bill lobbying Springfield
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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Two competing lobby groups were headed for Springfield Feb. 20, one pushing for the legalization of same-sex marriage and the other against.

Both anti-gay groups and the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition announced separate lobby days.

Anti-gay organization the Illinois Family Institute was urging supporters to flock to the capitol Wednesday morning, while a press release from Illinois Unites for Marriage noted that same-sex couples would be on the ground the same day to lobby for the bill.

"This legislation is about simple fairness for the thousands of loving families across Illinois," said Rick Wade, who is among the families lobbying for the bill, in a statement. Wade and his partner Tim Kee have been together for 15 years.

The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act passed out the Senate on Valentine's Day. It is bound for the House Executive Committee and will likely face a full House vote in the coming weeks.

The measure is expected to encounter a tougher fight in the House. The Human Rights Campaign has put 15 field organizers on the ground to push for its passage. The coalition has also been hosting a volunteer phone bank and encouraging supporters to call their state reps.

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