President Barack Obama on Saturday endorsed an effort to make his home state of Illinois the tenth state to legalize gay marriage.

“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times.

“As he has said, his personal view is that it's wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally.”

The announcement comes on the same day that Maine began issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples following a voter referendum.

(Related: First gay couples marry in Maine.)

Illinois lawmakers, who legalized civil unions for gay couples 2 years ago, are expected to take up the issue when they reconvene for a lame-duck session in January.

(Related: Illinois State Senator Heather Steans says lawmakers are “close” on gay marriage.)

Obama came out in favor of marriage equality in May.