Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says he is going to work as hard as he can to make Illinois the 10th state to legalize gay marriage.

“The sooner we get it accomplished, the better,” Quinn told Chicago Phoenix. “This is a mission we cannot bail on. We must succeed.”

Quinn happily signed legislation creating civil unions for gay and lesbian couples two years ago but appeared to hesitate when first asked about marriage last year.

When the measure was first introduced in February, he said he wanted to study the issues related to gay nuptials. He later said he looked “forward to working with the advocates on this issue to build a majority.”

Sponsors in the House and Senate said they wouldn't press for a vote until they had a majority. A push earlier this month during the Senate's quick lame-duck session was suddenly called off. The bill's champion in the chamber, Senator Heather Steans, said she called off the vote because three supporters were not present.

“I think we have the makings of a majority in the Senate and the House,” Quinn said. “This is achievable and attainable and I'm going to work as hard as I can with everyone to make it happen.”

(Related: Gay marriage foes want Pat Quinn excommunicated.)