Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Thursday applauded passage of a gay marriage bill in the Illinois Senate.

After roughly two hours of debate, senators approved the measure with a 34-21 vote and sent it to the House for further consideration.

“I commend the #IL Senate for passing the #MarriageEquality bill today,” Quinn tweeted to his more than 7,500 followers. “Full equality for all people is right for IL.”

“The freedom to marry the person you love is one that should be afforded to all citizens and, for too long, has been denied to our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters,” Emanuel said in a statement. “When two people love each other, no government entity should stand in the way of letting them express that love. It is time that our laws reflect our values and I am so proud that on this Valentine's Day, the Illinois Senate has voted to approve gay marriage. I commend Senator Heather Steans and Representative Greg Harris for their work on this and I urge the Illinois House to take up this bill in the same bi-partisan fashion.”

UPDATE: Quinn's office sends us his full statement.

“Today, we are one step closer to marriage equality in Illinois,” Quinn wrote.

“Couples across Illinois have even more reason today to celebrate their love for each other, thanks to the hard work of committed advocates and lawmakers. This historic legislation will strengthen our state by allowing all committed couples to enjoy the same legal protections and benefits of marriage.”

“The Senate took a stand for equal rights for all people. I urge the House of Representatives to pass this legislation so that we can ensure Illinois is a welcoming place for everyone.”

“Full equality for all people is right for Illinois.”