Lifestyle & Belief

Illinois becomes 16th American state to pass gay-marriage law


Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn holds up the Illinois marriage equality bill after signing it during a ceremony on November 20, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Gay couples will be allowed to marry in the state beginning on June 1, 2014.


Scott Olson

Much pomp and circumstance surrounded Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday as he made Illinois the 16th state to legalize gay marriage.

The governor used more than one pen to sign the law, and presented those pens as souvenirs to those who helped pass the bill.

He also signed documents on a desk he said was used by President Abraham Lincoln to write his 1861 inauguration address, the Chicago Tribune said.

Lincoln spoke of “the better angels of our nature” as the United States stood on the brink of Civil War.

“Love never fails, and I’m going to sign this bill right now,” Quinn said, according to the Tribune.

The Illinois law comes into effect on June 1, 2014.

According to Agence France-Presse, an estimated 3,000 people attended an hour-long ceremony in Chicago.

“What we’re celebrating today is the triumph of democracy, the triumph of liberty,” Quinn said, AFP reported. “Part of our unfinished business is to help the rest of America achieve marriage equality.”

Other states to legalize same-sex marriage include Hawaii, Washington, California, Connecticut, Iowa and Massachusetts, while 33 states have laws prohibiting gay couples from marrying. New Mexico has no laws banning gay marriage.

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