Illinois is set to become the 15th state and largest in the heartland to allow same-sex couples to marry. State senators approved technical changes Tuesday to a measure legalizing gay weddings, shortly after a historic favorable vote in the state House. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has said he’ll sign it into law.
Quinn said the House "put our state on the right side of history" with its vote, adding "Illinois is a place that embraces all people and today, we are an example for the nation."
The state will start allowing same-sex marriages next summer.
In a statement released by the White House, President Obama had high praise for the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served.
"As President, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law," Obama said. "Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else. So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law."