UPDATED: 1/2/2013 – 8:52 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A push to legalize same-sex marriages in Illinois hit a slight snag on Wednesday, but supporters sounded confident the measure would move forward on Thursday.
Sponsors of same-sex marriage legislation in the Illinois Senate fell two votes shy of holding an immediate committee hearing on the matter Wednesday evening, but supporters said they would try again on Thursday, when two senators who were absent would likely give them the votes they need to get the proposal moving.
If lawmakers pass the measure, Illinois would become the 10th state to approve same-sex marriages. President Barack Obama has urged Illinois lawmakers to approve the measure.
Rick Kautz and Larry Jacobsen started their life as a couple in Chicago 30 years ago.
“I just can’t imagine a day without him,” Kautz said.
They grew up when celebrating love and pride as gay men was not only shunned, it was punished.
“It always gets to me when people say you choose to be this way. I don’t know anybody that would choose to be, want to be beat up, to be spit on, to not be able to basically be the person that they are,” Kautz said. “Being brought up with that way of you are not acceptable in society, you’re not accepted. That’s why we don’t hold hands, we don’t kiss. We’ve never kissed in front of family and everything.”
Jacobsen said, “Somebody might try to hassle you on the street, because they thought you were gay, and pick a fight with you or something, and it’s better to just walk away.”
Their dream of seeing gay marriage legalized in Illinois might have hit a speed bump, but Jacobsen said, “It means the world to me, because I know that the support system is in its beginning stages.”
With a first vote on same-sex marriage legislation potentially hours away, there were calls for action from both sides of the debate on Wednesday.