By TOM LoBIANCO
Republican legislative leaders hope a formal explanation of the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage will be enough to soften concerns among some lawmakers.
Republican Rep. Eric Turner of Cicero filed a bill Thursday to create the amendment along with a separate proposal that explains its limits. However, House and Senate leaders remain unclear whether the two-step process would ban civil unions, a key question among moderate lawmakers.
The formal introduction of the amendment legislation begins a legislative fight that has been brewing for months. Supporters and opponents have been lobbying members of the House Judiciary Committee publicly and behind the scenes. The 13-member panel will be the first testing ground for both sides.
If lawmakers approve the amendment measure this year, it would head to voters in November.
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