As of early November, Illinois is set to become the 15th state to allow same-sex couples to legally marry, pending the State Governor’s signature in passing the bill into law later this month.
Illinois is positioned to become the largest state to allow same-sex marriage in the United States. The Illinois House of Representatives, which had adjourned in May without passing the Senate bill on legalizing gay marriage, approved the measure Tuesday November 5, 2013 by a vote of 61 to 54. The measure had passed the Illinois Senate in February but for procedural reasons had to be voted on by the Senate again. The law will make Illinois the 15th state to allow same-sex couples to marry, possibly as soon as next June.
“In Illinois, we tried civil unions and that separate status has time and time again proved to fall short,” said State Representative Greg Harris, a sponsor of the bill. The bill was supposed to be voted on in May, but without enough votes, it stalled. Opposition coming from clergymen, such as Bishop Larry Trator of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church in Chicago, suggested that politicians supporting gay marriage should prepare for election challenged. “We’re prepared to run and elect people who vote where the people’s minds are,” he says.
State Governor Pat Quinn, who had campaigned for the bill and will sign it into law by the end of the month, disagrees, “Today the Illinois House put our state on the right side of history.” President Obama, once a member of the State Senate, specifically voiced his approval of same-sex marriage in his home state earlier this year.