Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday promised to become “very involved” in the passage of a gay marriage bill in Illinois.

The mayor listed the issue as third behind pension reform and a Chicago casino on his list of priorities for the General Assembly to work on during the upcoming legislative session.

“I will continue to advocate, as I have since a congressman, that we also pass marriage equality and end the discrimination on the books,” Emanuel told reporters.

The mayor strongly backed legislation creating civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.

“The time for marriage equality is now,” he added. “The time is right and the time is here.”

In February, Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris, along with two other openly gay representatives, Deb Mell and Kelly Cassidy, introduced a bill legalizing marriage for gay couples.

“I've been in touch with … state Rep. Greg Harris, state Rep. Deb Mell and leaders in both chambers, so Illinois will now take the next step in making sure that our values are reflected in our laws,” he said.