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Gay Marriage Bill Passed by Senate, Residents Have 'Reason to Celebrate'

By  Serena Dai and Darryl Holliday | February 14, 2013 5:42pm | Updated on February 14, 2013 6:36pm

BOYSTOWN — Chicago's gay couples are one step closer to asking each other to be more than just each other's Valentines as the Illinois Senate approved a gay marriage bill Thursday.

The coincidence of the bill's passing on the holiday celebrating love was not lost on the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"Roses are red, violets are blue, marry a woman, or marry a dude," read a valentine featuring Emanuel posted to the mayor's official Twitter account Thursday.

"When two people love each other, no government entity should stand in the way of letting them express that love," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in an earlier statement.

He urged the Illinois House to "take up this bill in the same bi-partisan fashion."

The gay marriage bill passed the Senate by a 34-21 vote, but still needs to get approval from the House and Gov. Pat Quinn for same-sex couples to get hitched in Illinois.

Still, supporters were optimistic.

Andy Pyo, 25, of Andersonville, is confident that the House will pass the bill, and a greater likelihood of national marriage rights will follow.

"It helps show the country that being gay is not this horrible thing," Pyo said.

Lakeview resident Shane Kalminski, 24, was excited about the news.

"I want to get married for fun now," said Kalminski, who works in event production and sometimes performs in drag shows at Spin Nightclub. "Who wants it? Give me a call."

Others weren't so quick to seek out a proposal, but were still happy with the progression of the bill.

Brendan Chrisman, 32, said he's not at a point in his relationship where marriage is immediately on the horizon, but he would "value the right to get married" at some point in the future.

"It's a very special day, there's no other way to put it," said Chrisman, a general manager at Roscoe's bar in Boystown. "There's definitely more work to be done...but this is a reason to celebrate."

Chicago politicians were also pleased with the Valentine's Day news.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle also urged the house to pass the bill.

"Gay and lesbian couples deserve full recognition of their relationships," she said in a statement.