Illinois lawmakers reacted warmly to state Representative Debra Mell's House floor announcement that she's engaged to her girlfriend, Christine Baker.

“The reaction was great,” Mell, one of only two openly gay Illinois state lawmakers, told gay website “My co-workers were wonderful.”

Baker joined her fiance Wednesday on the Illinois House floor as Mell announced their engagement. She said the joyous moment for her was “bittersweet” because the women's marriage would not be recognized in Illinois and took a swipe at Governor Pat Quinn for not endorsing gay marriage. Quinn says he supports recognizing gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.

“While this is a happy day, and one to celebrate, it is also bittersweet,” Mell told lawmakers. “Life can be tough even on a good day, so I believe if you find that person who you want to spend the rest of your life with, regardless if you're gay or straight, it should be honored and celebrated.”

“I know our governor and many of you on both sides of the aisle do not consider me equal to you and our relationship equal to the relationship you share with your spouse. I think we are more alike than we are different.”

The majority of the chamber warmly greeted their announcement. Afterward the women shared a kiss.

The couple said they would be marrying in Iowa, one of five states where gay couples can legally wed.

Legislation that would recognize gay unions appears to have stalled out in Illinois. Neither a civil unions bill nor one that would legalize gay marriage in the state are expected to be debated in either chamber this election year.

Mell, a Chicago Democrat, is the daughter of longtime ward 33 Ald. Richard Mell and the sister-in-law of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.