Earlier this month, Illinois legislature agreed to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage with a vote of 61 to 54. Once signed by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, the “Land of Lincoln” will become the 15th state to allow same-sex couples to wed, in addition to Washington D.C. CNN reported that Governor Quinn signed the bill on November 20.
According to Gov. Quinn, this new legislation will “put our state on the right side of history.”
The state of Hawaii has also recently approved same-sex marriage. With these two new additions, more than 1 in 3 Americans will live in a state where same-sex marriage is legal. This is a huge step for the United States. Same sex-marriage is currently legal in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.
The new Illinois law is set to go into effect on June 1, 2014, according to CNN.
In the past, same-sex couples in Illinois were allowed the option of civil unions, but not marriages.
President Obama has expressed his support of the new legislature in his home state. He stated that he has “always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law…Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else.”
President Obama also added, “As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
The approval of same-sex marriage marks an enormous turn in Illinois history. If you or someone you know has any questions about the future law, do not hesitate to contact an Illinois family law attorney.