Illinois Gay Marriage Bill Signed Into Law, State Becomes 16th To Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Report Date: November 21, 2013

 

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Wednesday allowing same-sex weddings starting this summer, making President Barack Obama’s home state the 16th overall — and largest in the nation’s heartland — to legalize gay marriage.

The festivities at the University of Illinois at Chicago featured a family-friendly crowd, musical performances and a stage lined with American, Illinois and rainbow flags.

“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 he signed the bill on a desk once used by President Abraham Lincoln. He said part of that mission was to ensure that “love is not relegated to a second class status to any citizen in our country.”

References to freedom, equality, fairness and Lincoln — the desk was where he penned his 1861 inaugural address — were peppered throughout the event. In attendance were top elected officials, including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Organizers estimated roughly 2,300 attended, including activists and members of the public.

Illinois, where Democrats lead both legislative chambers and the governor’s office, legalized civil unions in 2011, but the road to same-sex marriage was bumpy.

When 2013 began advocates hoped Illinois would’ve been the 10th state, but watched as other states passed it. Gay marriage is allowed in Washington D.C., and 15 other states; Hawaii’s governor signed a measure last week.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/20/illinois-gay-marriage-bil_1_n_4312368.html

 

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