Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Monday will sign a bill that offers gay and lesbian couples many of the benefits of marriage.

Quinn will sign the bill in front of a capacity crowd at 4PM at the Chicago Cultural Center in Chicago's Loop. Over a thousand people are expected to attend the signing ceremony.

Lawmakers approved the legislation during last month's lame-duck session of the Legislature. The law will go into effect on July 1, 2011.

Several candidates vying to replace Chicago Mayor Richard Daley supported the law and many, including Daley, have called on the state to legalize gay 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.

Rahm Emanuel, who resigned as White House chief of staff in September to run for the post after Daley announced he wouldn't seek a seventh term, pledged his support for gay rights – including marriage – on Friday.

Illinois is the second state after New Jersey to offer civil unions. The Hawaii Senate approved a similar bill on Friday. Five states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage. Several other states – including California and Nevada – recognize gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships.