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Some big news from Illinois yesterday:

Illinois will become the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage after the House narrowly approved the bill Tuesday.

A little more than an hour later, the Senate also approved the bill without debate.

The bill now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn, who said he will sign it into law. Quinn issued a statement Tuesday saying the vote "put our state on the right side of history."

The House voted 61-54 to legalize same-sex marriage less than six months after sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, put off a vote because he said he didn't have the votes to pass it. The bill needed 60 votes to pass the House. -, 11/5/13

All it needs now is Governor Pat Quinn's (D. IL) signature:

Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday continued the victory lap one day after lawmakers sent him a measure to legalize gay marriage in Illinois, saying he plans to sign the bill into law before the end of the month.

The governor said the exact timing depends on when various advocates will be able to get together, saying those who fought so hard for the measure deserve to be there when he puts pen to paper.

"We're going to make an arrangement so lots and lots of people can come to the ceremony," Quinn said. "I think it's important to have an opportunity for the people who worked so hard in the community to pass marriage equality to have an opportunity to be there at the bill signing. This is what democracy is all about, people banning together for a cause they believe in, passing a law that makes our state a better place." - Chicago Tribune, 11/6/13

Once Quinn signs the bill, the long battle for marriage equality will finally come to an end:

Theresa Volpe, left, testifies along side of her daughter Ava as her partner Mercedes Santos sits with their son Jaidon during a Senate Executive committee hearing considering same sex marriage at the Illinois State Capitol Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
The measure had to return to the Senate since the House added an amendment to make June 1 the effective date of the legislation — rather than 30 days after Quinn signs it. The Senate quickly endorsed the bill after the House vote.

After the ballot, the White House tweeted: "RT if you agree that every American should have the freedom to marry who they love."

Illinois is poised to become the 15th state nationwide to allow same-sex marriage and join two of its Midwest neighbors – Iowa and Minnesota – in granting gay couples the right to wed. The District of Columbia allows gay marriage, too.

The vote comes two weeks after same-sex marriages began in New Jersey, where the state dropped its legal appeal to prohibit the weddings, and comes ahead of a similar ballot in Hawaii.

Rep. Greg Harris, a primary sponsor of the bill from Chicago who is openly gay, announced last May that he wouldn't call a vote on the legislation since he wasn’t sure it had enough support for approval, The Advocate reported.

Religious leaders who opposed the legislation said it didn’t adequately protect their rights, according to the Chicago Tribune. The bill stipulates that religious denominations or American Indian groupings were free to decide those marriages it would solemnize and would not be required to provide facilities for wedding ceremonies.

Some undecided Democratic lawmakers announced in the last week that they would vote in favor of the bill – including one who said she was assured that the rights of the religious community would be respected. - NBC News, 11/5/13

Thank you Governor Quinn and the Illinois state legislators who voted to make marriage equality a reality.  Please do consider donating to Quinn's 2014 re-election bid if you would like to thank him:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Nov 06, 2013 at 06:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, Madison County, Illinois Kossacks, and Land of Lincoln Kos.

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