Gay marriage remains a tough sell in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The stalling of Illinois' gay-marriage push -- at least for now -- shows how difficult it remains to legalize it.

Even with a nudge from President Barack Obama, steadily rising support in the polls and national momentum from the November elections, Democrats couldn't get enough votes to advance a gay marriage bill last week.

Supporters downplayed the delay, saying a Senate committee's vote to advance the measure was a historic accomplishment. They say they will continue to push for gay marriage when the Legislature starts a new session this week.

But there's no denying that even as the nation's feelings about the issue appear to be shifting, lawmakers have been more reluctant to do so. That's particularly true in the heartland, where no legislature has approved gay marriage.

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