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With Illinois Set to OK Gay Marriage, 'March to Equality Turning Into a Stampede'

Midwestern state poised to be 15th in nation to legalize same-sex marriage

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Illinois is set to become the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

Photo: Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures/cc/flickr On Tuesday, state lawmakers gave final approval to the bill for marriage equality with the House approving the measure in a 61-54 vote and then sending it to the Senate for its final approval.

During debate in the House, lawmaker Jehan Gordon-Booth stated, "I am voting for marriage equality today because it is the right thing to do.  I know enhancing the civil rights of others does not diminish the civil rights of anyone in this room or anyone in this state."

The bill now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he will sign it. Applauding the House vote, Quinn stated, "Today the Illinois House put our state on the right side of history."

"With the Illinois bill's passage today, the march towards equality is turning into a stampede," stated James Esseks, Director of the LGBT Project of the ACLU.

"One year ago, there were six states with marriage equality and now with Illinois there are fifteen. Once this bill is signed into law, over thirty-seven percent of the American population will live in states with the freedom to marry for all loving and committed couples. All families deserve the protection and security that only marriage provides and our fight to extend those protections to families in the remaining 35 states will continue," Esseks stated.

After the bill receives Quinn's signature, same-sex couples can enjoy marriage equality starting in June.

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