Illinois Legislature Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

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A long-stalled marriage equality bill passed both houses of Illinois's General Assembly on Tuesday, bringing the state just one signature away from becoming the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. The bill, originally passed 34 to 21 in February by the state's Senate, will as amended legalize gay marriage effective on June 1st, 2014. It passed the House with 61 votes, just over the 60 votes needed to proceed. Fifty-four legislators opposed the bill. The bill, SB10, then went back for another vote in the Senate, where it passed 32-21. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has promised to sign the bill into law. 

Once the House vote became a sure thing on Tuesday, the Senate moved quickly to take action on the bill: 

Quinn is reportedly waiting in Springfield for the bill to come in for is signature. So, people who support gay marriage (about 50 percent of voters in the state) are already celebrating: 

According to Buzzfeed's account of the proceedings in Springfield, House leadership moved quickly on Tuesday to bring SB10 to the floor during a short "veto session" in the state legislature this month. The bill's main sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris, amended the bill on Tuesday morning to extend its effective date. That amendment allowed the House to pass the legislation with 60 votes, instead of the 71 votes needed under state rules to pass the bill as originally written. Until then, it wasn't even clear whether the bill would get a vote during the special session. Buzzfeed writes: "Earlier Tuesday, the question of 'if' the bill will be called during the final days of the fall 'veto session' this week has given way to 'when.'"

In addition to the change in effective date in the law, the amended bill also includes a provision exempting private clubs, such as the Knights of Columbus, from hosting same-sex marriages. 

We'll update with more as the legislative proceedings continue in Illinois today. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.