Wisconsin neighbor Illinois could be next state to approve gay marriage

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CHICAGO (AP) — Gay rights advocates say Illinois could become the next state to approve same-sex marriage, though getting a bill passed in Springfield won't be easy.

State Rep. Greg Harris says he is optimistic following the recent election, when voters in four states either supported gay marriage or opposed a ban on it. The Chicago Democrat said those results represent a "sea change" in public opinion.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois and other opponents say they will fight any change to the state law.

The earliest legislators could vote on the issue is during the veto session that starts next week.

But lawmakers will have other issues to tackle, including the state's pension crisis and a budget shortfall. And Democratic majorities are no guarantee the bill will be approved.

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