By Jim Hagerty
Gov. Pat Quinn (D) made Illinois the 16th state to allow gay marriage Wednesday, Nov. 20, as he signed the legislation at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
After a 61-54 House vote Nov. 6, the measure was sent to the Senate for minor changes. From there, it made its way to Quinn, who had been urging lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage for several years.
“We understand in our state that part of our unfinished business is to help other states in the United States of America achieve marriage equality,” Quinn said before signing the bill on the same desk President Abraham Lincoln used to write his 1861 inaugural address.
The legislation was sponsored by openly gay Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago. Harris was expected to bring it to the floor in May, but later announced he lacked support. That all changed after a massive lobbying campaign by both Republicans and Democrats.
“To treat all our citizens equally in the eyes of the law, we must change this,” Harris said in an earlier report. “Families have been kept apart.”
The law goes into effect June 1, 2014.
Illinois was slated to become the 15th state to recognize same-sex marriage until Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) signed the state’s bill into law Nov. 13. Other states that recognize gay marriage include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, New York, Washington and the District of Columbia.
Posted Nov. 20, 2014