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Gov. Quinn signs bill making Illinois the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage

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November 21, 2013

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

By Greg Janetka

CHICAGO, Illinois: At a ceremony held yesterday at the University of Chicago-Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed a bill into law making Illinois the 16th state to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry. Quinn then announced on Twitter, "It’s official. #MarriageEquality is the law of the land in Illinois!"[1]

Lawmakers passed the legislation two weeks ago. As it currently stands the law will go into effect on June 1, 2014. However, it may be revised in January to allow couples to marry sooner. The law will likely face legal challenges. One such group vowing to take the issue to court is The Thomas More Society. Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel of the organization, stated, “Because the general assembly left out specific protections for individuals, businesses, religious organizations, and religious charities, we will have to discover the boundaries of this act through litigation.”[2]

Gay rights supporters first introduced an anti-discrimination bill in the Illinois Legislature in 1974 - it became law in 2005. Civil Unions were approved in the state in 2011.[3]

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