Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will sign a
bill that recognizes gay and lesbian couples with civil unions next
“Plan to attend and witness history
taking place,” wrote openly gay State Rep. Greg Harris on his
Over a thousand people are expected to
attend the signing ceremony to take place at 4PM at the Chicago
Cultural Center in Chicago's Loop.
approved the legislation during last month's lame-duck session of the
The law will go into effect on July 1,
A day after the Legislature approved
the bill, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley hailed the legislation and
urged the state to press on to full marriage.
“Finally, they [state lawmakers]
realized they should have the same rights under state law,” Daley
told the Chicago Sun-Times. “But eventually, [gay] marriage
will take place. It has to … We have to move faster.”
Daley is among the lawmakers expected
to attend Monday's ceremony.
The bill was opposed by socially
conservative groups, including the Catholic Conference of Illinois
and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
Illinois becomes the second state after
New Jersey to offer civil unions. Vermont, the first state to
legalize such unions, now offers gay couples marriage. Hawaii
lawmakers will take up a similar measure later this year.