“It’s a new day in the state of Illinois,” proclaimed Sen. Martin Sandoval before voting to legalize marriage equality for same-sex couples in the Prairie State. The state Senate approved the bill 34–21, and after a vote at the state House, which is held by the Democrats, the state should be on its way to becoming the nation’s 10th to grant equal rights to gay couples. Gov. Pat Quinn has pledged to sign the bill once it arrives on his desk.
Quinn, a supporter of marriage equality, applauded the Senate passage on Thursday, and pledged to sign the “historic” bill.
Thursday’s vote came two years after Illinois lawmakers approved civil unions, which provide legal recognition of a partnership between two people, regardless of gender. But same-sex marriage supporters called the designation “second class status.”
Once the bill is signed, Illinois will become the 10th state in the nation to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.