NewsNation | February 18, 2013
>>> so this week illinois could become the tenth state in the nation to legalize marriage e equality. the state house of representatives is expected to act on a bill that passed the democratic-controlled state senate valentine's day. democrats also control the house. and the governor, pat quinn , has promised to sign that measure. but there is still some opposition from republicans, as well as religious leaders. the bill does protect churches that don't want to perform same-sex marriages. joining me live via skype, ray long from "the chicago tribune ." good to have you here. let's talk first where this stands. they promised to make a move valentine's day. it moved that way. but what are the biggest hang-ups, biggest obstacles moving forward?
>> one of the big things here in illinois , is that in the house they have a whole new set of lawmakers, as you know, after reapportionment, remapping, and all the very states. illinois is the same. they have dozens of new lawmakers. they've got to figure out who is on which side. that is one of the hurdles. it's also a controversial vote in itself, so therefore there will be some pushing back. there was in the senate, but the illinois house and the illinois senate have expanded their democratic majorities. therefore, it has looked like this will be a better shot this time. it was, of course, the first time that it passed the senate. this would be the first time it could pass the house.
>> talk to us about the back room politics associated with the republican party chairman, pat brady , who announced his support for this, and then republicans more conservative than he tried to oust brady from his role. that failed, correct?
>> right. correct. pat brady is the party chairman who suggested that republicans should get on board with the gay marriage issue. that brought the upheaval that you see a lot of times across the country in the conservative versus the more moderate wing of the party. so in illinois , we saw the more conservative elements of the party trying to oust brady . brady is still in midterm. he survived that. it did not amount to a major coup or anything. so he's back in there. republicans are now trying to figure out how they can best pull together themselves into this debate over gay marriage and try to look like a more moderate party .
>> and ray, last but not least, the fact that just like in maryland, and other states, this legislation would be crafted so that religious institutions that would have objections would be protected from having to offer their houses of worship if they didn't want to.
>> that's right, thomas. and one of the things that's brought up here too in the senate debate is that a lot of the senators don't believe that this will actually put the clamps on all of these possibilities that they're worried about. like facilities at churches. like parish halls, et cetera . that those indeed will be protected also, and that they won't be forced to go into marriage ceremonies for gay marriages and same-sex marriages, of course. so one of the big issues here is whether the letter of the law will hold together. but the democrats are confident that this will. republicans are seeking to poke holes wherever they can.
>> ray long from the " chicago tribune " joining us. thank for your time. i appreciate it.
>> thank you, thomas.