Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, delivering his State of the State address on Feb. 6, urged passage of the pending marriage equality bill.
Quinn said: “Our illinois is not a land of discrimination. Four years ago, nobody thought civil unions would be possible here.
“Today, civil unions are the law of our state. And nearly 5,200 couples across 94 counties have joined in a civil union.
“Now, it's time to take that next step in achieving full equality.
“Marriage equality is coming to Illinois. And yesterday was a great start in the Senate Executive Committee.
“I want to thank Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Greg Harris for their work to move Illinois forward. Let's pass this bill for marriage equality.”
On Feb. 5, the Senate Executive Committee approved the legislation, which can now go to a floor vote in the Senate. That may happen on Valentine’s Day.
Responding to the governor's speech, ACLU of Illinois public policy director Edwin C. Yohnka said, "The governor’s words of support for extending the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois are further evidence that the time is now for Illinois to join the growing list of states that recognize the love of same-sex couples with the dignity of marriage. The General Assembly should act quickly to move Senate Bill 10 – approved by the Senate Executive Committee just yesterday – to the Governor’s desk for his approval. Thousands of couples across Illinois – including our clients Danielle Cook and Suzie Hutton of Bloomington who testified yesterday – are waiting for this legislation to become law."
The ACLU is representing plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the state's ban on gay marriage. Lambda Legal also has a case seeking marriage equality.