Illinois on Tuesday became the 15th state to legalize gay marriage.
The marriage bill approved stalled out twice – in the Senate in late 2012 and in the House in May – before finding sufficient support to clear both the House and the Senate in one day.
With one vote to spare (61-54) the House approved the measure and sent it to the Senate, which approved the measure on Valentine’s Day, for a procedural vote. Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has pledged his signature.
Within hours, the measure also cleared the Senate with a 32-21 vote.
The first weddings will take place in June.
Illinois approved civil unions in 2011. But pressure mounted in June to provide full marriage after a Supreme Court decision led to federal recognition of the marriages of gay couples, leaving those in a civil union out in the cold.
“To treat all our citizens equally in the eyes of the law we must change this,” Rep. Greg Harris, the bill’s champion in the House, told colleagues during a floor debate that lasted more than 2 hours. “Families have been kept apart.”
The measure received a boost this week from House Speaker Michael Madigan’s lobbying efforts.
Opponents have vowed to line up primary challengers against lawmakers who voted for the legislation.
by Carlos Santoscoy
Source – On Top Magazine