As expected, the Illinois Senate has sent a very sweet Valentine to same-sex couples by approving marriage equality legislation with a vote of 34-21 (plus 2 voting “present”). Before passage, an amendment was added to the bill carving out an exception allowing churches to not have their facilities used in the solemnization or celebration of a same-sex wedding. The bill now heads to the House where it also has strong support from the Democratic majority. Though the Catholic Church and conservative evangelical groups oppose the bill, polling shows that most Illinois voters support marriage equality. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is committed to signing the bill into law, which will make Illinois the 10th state granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry.