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Article updated: 3/18/2013 7:51 AM

7 congressmen support gay marriage in Illinois

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By Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Seven Democratic Illinois congressmen are urging support of a gay marriage bill in Springfield.

Congressmen Luis Gutierrez, Danny Davis and Mike Quigley are among those who sent a letter calling for "basic legal protections to all Illinois families." It cites growing public support.

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The state Senate has approved a measure allowing same-sex couples to marry. It awaits a House floor vote, but House Speaker Michael Madigan says passing it will be "very difficult" and is a dozen votes shy in the House.

Advocates have amped up pressure on lawmakers recently with support from business leaders and some religious groups. However, some religious leaders -- including Cardinal Francis George of Chicago -- are opposed to the idea.

The other congressmen are Jan Schakowsky, Tammy Duckworth, Brad Schneider and Bill Foster.

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