The Illinois House on Tuesday approved
a bill which seeks to make it the 15th state to legalize
The bill must return to the Senate –
which approved the measure on Valentine's Day – for a procedural
vote. Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has pledged his signature.
“This is a great day for Illinois and
for the rest of the country,” Rick Garcia, policy director for The
Civil Rights Agenda, said in an emailed statement. “Fairness,
decency and equality were affirmed by our legislature. Same-gender
couples will have the same state benefits as their heterosexual
The measure cleared the chamber with
one vote to spare (61-54).
In addressing the chamber, Rep. Greg
Harris, the bill's champion in the House, said: “At the end of the
day, this bill is about love. It's about family. It's about
The bill was left on the back burner in
May, when Harris tearfully told supporters that the bill did not have
the votes needed to clear the chamber. He promised to hold the vote
during the short fall session.
The measure received a boost this week
from House Speaker Michael Madigan's lobbying efforts.