Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is making good on a campaign promise to back a bill that recognizes gay and lesbian couples with civil unions.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Democratic leaders, including Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton, are looking to bring the bill up for a vote during the veto session that begins Tuesday.

Openly gay Illinois State Representative Greg Harris' civil unions bill passed out of committee in the spring, but lawmakers have yet to vote on it.

Quinn said during the campaign that he wanted to sign the bill into law before the end of the year.

The Democratic governor's November 2 victory was an upset. Political analysts had predicted an easy win for State Senator Bill Brady, who carried all but the state's three most populous counties. Metro Chicago provided Quinn, who came to power last year after Rod Blagojevich was impeached, with more than half of his votes.

A Brady win would have put passage of the legislation in doubt. The Republican objects to any government recognition of gay unions, and supports banning gay marriage in the Illinois Constitution.

Rick Garcia, public policy director of Equality Illinois, the state's largest gay rights advocate, said his group was “in overdrive working to get the civil union bill passed before the end of the year.”

“And, the governor is fully on board,” Garcia told

New Jersey is the only state that offers civil unions. Several states, including Washington and California, offer gay couples domestic partnerships. Democratic wins on November 2 in Hawaii boosted the odds that the state will approve a civil unions bill during its next legislative session.