SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois General Assembly passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage Tuesday, putting the Land of Lincoln on course to be the 15th state to legalize same sex marriage.
The House of Representatives narrowly passed the bill 61-54-2 shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday and the state senate concurred a little more than an hour later voting 32-29 in favor of SB10.
Gov. Pat Quinn has previously said he would sign the bill into law.
After enduring multiple delays along the way, the legislation received a jolt of support in recent days from the House Speaker, Mike Madigan, the Sun-Times reports.
According to the Tribune, the powerful Democrat was blasted by gay marriage advocates in recent months for being too soft in his support after the House failed to pass the bill before the regular session ended in May.
Gov. Pat Quinn, who has long supported legalizing gay marriage in the state, was planted in Springfield awaiting the vote.
Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel — another powerful pol — was said to be making phone calls Tuesday to rustle up support for the bill.
BuzzFeed reports the bill’s chief House sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris, amended language to change the bill’s effective date early Tuesday.
As written, the bill needed just 60 votes instead of the “supermajority” of 71. With the lower number of votes required, the law would go into effect June 1, 2014.
Though Illinois already recognizes civil unions, supporters of gay marriage have faced fierce opposition from mostly downstate rural and urban black politicians, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.