Illinois Governor Pat Quinn hopes state lawmakers will approve a gay marriage bill during the upcoming lame duck session.

“I hope that bill goes forward,” Quinn is quoted as saying by The Chicago Tribune. “It's the House that probably the key arena at this time, and I think we'll see how the members look at the issue. They should study it carefully and vote their conscience.”

Quinn, a Democrat, made the comments during a roundtable with reporters on Monday.

In February, Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris, along with two other openly gay representatives, Deb Mell and Kelly Cassidy, introduced the marriage bill. Harris was also the primary sponsor of Illinois' civil unions law.

“At this point, we will call it when we have the votes there,” Harris, a Democrat from Chicago, told the paper. “We can see the trend of public opinion having shifted dramatically … but it takes time for legislators to figure that out. And there are a number of other key votes, pensions is obviously number one among them.”

(Related: Majority support gay marriage in New Jersey; proponents lead in Illinois.)