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Illinois church leaders voice support for gay marriage

More than 250 Illinois clergy members have endorsed a gay marriage bill that could come up for a vote in early January.

Gay marriage around the world 13Enlarge
Nancy Monahan, right, a retired Coast Guard petty officer, shares a laugh with her wife, Deb Needham, after their wedding at City Hall on December 9, 2012 in Seattle, Washington. December 9th was the first day that same-sex couples can legally wed in Washington state. (David Ryder/AFP/Getty Images)

More than 250 Illinois clergy members have endorsed a gay marriage bill that could come up for a vote in early January.

The Chicago Tribune reported a group of pastors and rabbis released a letter on Sunday which calls on state lawmakers to approve legislation that allows same-sex marriage in Illinois.

"Standing on these beliefs, we think that it is morally just to grant equal opportunities and responsibilities to loving, committed same-sex couples," said statement according to the Associated Press. "There can be no justification for the law treating people differently on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity."

According to the Tribune, the bill's opponents said gay marriage violates religious scripture and are opposed to it for both religious and "moral" reasons.

Representatives Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans said they will call for the vote on Jan. 9.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/121223/illinois-church-leaders-support-gay-marriage