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Illinois Governor to sign marriage equality bill on November 20

Marriage equality

Illinois state sealA brief bit of exciting news out of Illinois, via the Chicago Tribune:

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn plans to sign legislation making Illinois the 15th state to legalize gay marriage during a Nov. 20 ceremony in Chicago.

The 3:30 p.m. event at the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum will be open to the public, the governor’s office said Thursday.

“Marriage equality is coming to Illinois,” Quinn said in a statement. “I look forward to signing this landmark legislation on Nov. 20 and celebrating a big step forward with the people of Illinois.”

The venue has a 3,000-person capacity, which is much larger than the meeting hall in the Chicago Cultural Center where Quinn legalized civil unions in January 2011.

As currently written, the Illinois legislation would not go into effect until June 1, 2014.  Yesterday, we reported on efforts by one state senator to move the effective date of the bill forward and allow same-sex couples to wed sooner.

Illinois will be the 15th state to legalize marriage equality.


  • 1. sab39  |  November 8, 2013 at 8:20 am

    "Illinois will be the 15th state to legalize marriage equality." – I'd say that's looking quite doubtful at this point. Most state governors have signed within a day or two of the bills passing, and Hawaii's legislature looks like it'll finish up today, so it'd be quite surprising if Hawaii doesn't get the process finished before the 20th. In which case Hawaii would be #15 and Illinois #16.

    Illinois could even end up being #17 if NM's Supreme Court rules in the next week and a half…

  • 2. Rik  |  November 8, 2013 at 11:26 am

    I hope they have good security at the signing event. I just had a dread vision of some Christian wacko trying to stop marriage equality with some dramatic measure

  • 3. Mike in Baltimore  |  November 8, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I go with the date that the law takes effect for the entire state. Did GLBT Californians have the right to marriage on June 26, 2013, when SCOTUS issued it's ruling, on June 28, 2013, when the 9th Circuit retracted it's stay of any ruling, or some other date (such as when the Federal District Court ruled)? If when the District Court issued a final decision determines when it is legal, then California beat New York state by almost a year in having marriage equality, as Judge Vaughn Walker issued his decision in August 2010 and New York state didn't allow marriage equality until July 2011.

    This is why I consider Washington the 8th state (marriage equality was effective 12-6-12), Maine the 9th state (effective 12-29-12), and Maryland the 10th state (effective 1-1-13) to allow marriage equality, even though all three passed marriage equality on the same day in November 2012, and even though the governors of Washington state and Maryland signed legislation months prior to that election day in November 2012.

    And since there was no governor signing a bill in Maine, nor a court issuing a final decision (the ONLY two criteria you posted), does that mean you consider the GLBT residents of Maine second-class?

    And I also go with when GLBT citizens can legally marry anywhere in the ENTIRE state, not just in certain portions of the state. That is why I don't consider New Mexico yet in the marriage equality column.

    It may be the historian in me, but the sequence of events is extremely important when determining when something happens. And if something doesn't happen, then it doesn't happen. How many thought marriage equality would be a done deal in Illinois earlier this year, while the state legislature was in regular session?

  • 4. Dr. Z  |  November 9, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Personally I think it makes more sense to count "birthdays" the Chinese way: everybody born the same year is the same age.

    2004: MA
    2008: CT CA*
    2009: IA VT
    2010: NH DC
    2011: NY
    2012: ME MD WA
    2013: MN CA* NJ DE HI IL RI

    I think it makes more sense to count them this way because it takes into account that the battles were different over the years. There were several states vying to be first, but Massachusetts made it and the first few years were spent just holding onto that beachhead against strong efforts to repeal. CT was a huge victory, and IA an early surprise. Again, we were still making slow progress and trying to hold onto our gains when Prop 8 passed in CA – which the press treated as a footnote to Obama's election.

    The game-changer was New York. When the annals of same sex mmarriage are written, that will go down as the turning point when we stopped having to spend so much effort and money playing defensively.

    The 2012 election victories in WA, MD, ME and MN were also huge – particularly after we used our first real ballot box victory over a DOMA law to enact marriage equality there. 2013 was the year of the breakthrough, leading up to and following our win at the Supreme Court.

    And 2013 isn't even over yet!

  • 5. Sagesse  |  November 9, 2013 at 6:19 am

    You left out Hawaii :). I know it's not signed yet, but after what those people went through, they've earned it :).

  • 6. Dr. Z  |  November 9, 2013 at 6:23 am

    No I didn't, it's in the 2013 batch along with IL. I counted states according to what year that battle was fought.

  • 7. Sagesse  |  November 9, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Sorry. Coffee needs to kick in :).

  • 8. grod  |  November 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Rik : you got you wish – a RC bishop

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