Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has said he believes President Barack Obama's recent endorsement of gay marriage will help efforts in Illinois to legalize such unions.

Before marching in the 43rd annual Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, Quinn told gay website that he was optimistic that marriage equality would come to Illinois.

“We're moving forward. The key is to get a majority in both houses of the Legislature to get a bill on my desk I can sign. I think we're closer every day,” Quinn said.

(Related: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn endorses gay marriage.)

Last year, Quinn signed the law which recognizes gay and lesbian couples with civil unions. A gay marriage bill was introduced earlier this year but no action was taken during the legislative session.

“The record of the civil unions bill that we signed last year is that hundreds have been performed all over the state. That sets a good foundation.”

“The president's support is going to be helpful, especially in Illinois,” Quinn added.

Gay marriage advocates are also pursuing the issue in the courts. A lawsuit challenging the state's ban on such unions has received praise from elected officials, including those charged with defending the state's laws, prompting criticism from social conservatives who vowed to intervene in the case.