illinois-senate-president-john-cullerton-marriage-equalityLawmakers in Illinois are hoping to pass the marriage equality bill on February 14, fittingly on Valentine’s Day.

After throwing in the towel during January’s lame-duck session, Illinois activists are once again pushing for passage of the marriage equality bill. According to Senate President John Cullerton, “I’d like to pass it out of committee next week and pass it on Valentine’s Day.”

The legislation needs 30 votes to pass and move to the House in order for Illinois to become the tenth state to recognize same-sex marriage, a feat that Cullerton believes is doable.

In order to appease religious organizations, bill sponsors Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Greg Harris have been tweaking the language that caused the legislation to stall in January after a Senate Executive Committee approved.

Rick Garcia, who leads the Equal Marriage Illinois Project, said he is feeling confident about the impending vote. “I think the Senate president and the Senate sponsor are very confident,” Garcia said. “I’ve known [Cullerton] for a 100 years and he has passed more legislation that has been signed into law than—I think—any other legislator in Springfield. He knows his business and knows how to get the job done.”

Garcia is urging Illinois citizens to reach out to their local lawmakers and make their voices heard. “If people think it’s going to be done by hotshot lobbyists, they are wrong. It gets done because they pick up the phone, they open up their laptop, they call, write, text their legislators. That’s how it gets done,” he said.

Here’s to hoping that on Valentine’s Day, lovers in Illinois will certainly have something to celebrate.

“I could not even think of a better day to do it,” Garcia said. “Sometimes the planets align.”