Though he's already made his support for marriage equality quite clear -- albeit, after a moment of non-clarity earlier this year -- Democratic Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn commented Monday that he'd like to see the state legislature pass a marriage equality bill and get it to his desk in January.
According to the Associated Press, Quinn urged state lawmakers to study the matter carefully before they return to Springfield for the lame duck session beginning Jan. 2.
Quinn added to the Chicago Tribune that he hopes the bill will advance. He has pledged to sign the proposal should it do so.
"It’s the House that probably the key arena at this time, and I think we’ll see how the members look at that issue. They should study it carefully and vote their conscience," the governor, a Chicago Democrat, continued.
The governor's comments arrived following the release of a Public Policy Polling poll that found that 47 percent of Illinois voters support same-sex marriage and support increased among both younger voters and voters of color, including Latino voters, who were 70 percent in support, the Windy City Times reports.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel earlier this fall said he hoped the state legislature would approve same-sex marriage during its veto session, which came and went last month without any discussion on the issue.
Last month, state Rep. Greg Harris (D), the chief sponsor of Illinois' same-sex marriage bill, told HuffPost he is ready and waiting to call a vote in Springfield once he has the number of votes lined upthat are required for passage.
Meanwhile, a Cook County judge ruled this month that two churches and a group opposed to same-sex marriage could not intervene on behalf of the defense in a lawsuit challenging Illinois' ban on gay marriage. Both the Cook County state's attorney and Illinois attorney general previously refused to fight the legal challenge, which is being led by the ACLU of Illinois and Lambda Legal.
It's been about 18 months since Illinois legalized civil unions, allowing same-sex couples many of the same rights and responsibilities as those in opposite-sex marriages. But that law still falls short of federally-recognized marriage.
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Since July 24, 2011
Voters in Maryland approved marriage equality in the November 2012 election. Initially, the gay marriage bill was signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on March 1, 2012 but opponents gathered enough signatures to force the issue back onto the ballot. With the passing of marriage equality, same-sex marriage ceremonies are set to begin on January 1, 2013.
Since November 12, 2008
Since April 3, 2009
Maine made history in the November 2012 election when it became the first state to pass marriage equality on the ballot. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said, "Voters in Maine came to the common-sense conclusion that all people deserve the ability to make loving, lifelong commitments through marriage." Just three years ago, a popular vote overturned legislation that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state.
Since May 17, 2004
Since January 1, 2010
Since September 1, 2009
Since March 9, 2010
The state initially began conducting gay marriages on June 16, 2008. On November 5, 2008, however, California voters passed Proposition 8, which amended the state's constitution to declare marriage as only between a man and a woman.
On February 13, 2012, Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) signed a law allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies to begin on June 7, 2012. The process was delayed by gay marriage opponents who gathered enough signatures to put the issue up to a state vote in November 2012. Gay marriage passed on November 7, 2012. The official determination for Washington did not come until one day after the election because of the state's mail-in voting system.
Gay marriage came to Rhode Island when Governor Lincoln Chafee signed the marriage equality bill it into law on May 2, 2013.
Delaware obtained gay marriage when Governor Jack Markell signed the marriage equality bill it into law on May 7, 2013.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/minnesota-gay-marriage-legal-_n_3275484.html" target="_blank">On May 14, 2013</a>