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Senate committee hearing same-sex marriage bill

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 5:00 p.m. CST

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Senate committee has started considering a landmark bill that could make Illinois the 10th state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

Hundreds of people have submitted comments for and against the measure.

Among those who came to Springfield to testify Thursday in favor of the measure are Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe. The Chicago women have been together 21 years and have two children. Volpe says while the couple has a civil union, a hospital administrator once refused to let her into their son's room because she and Santos aren't married.

Volpe says they shouldn't have to show paperwork to prove they are a family.

Opponents have said same-sex marriage is against the "natural order."

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