On Tuesday afternoon, the Illinois House voted 61-54, narrowly surpassing the required 60 vote threshold, to approve gay marriage. The measure previously passed the Illinois Senate on Valentine’s Day. It has taken this long to secure enough votes in the House for the measure to pass. Technically, the bill is being sent back to the Senate to amend the effective date of the legislation, which is to take effect next June 1. It is expected to pass the Senate once again, and Governor Quinn has promised to sign the measure into law. Illinois will become the 15th state, along with Washington D.C., to allow gay marriage.
Presently the definition of marriage is “a marriage between a man and a woman licensed, solemnized and registered.” The measure will change “between a man and a woman” to “between two people.” Civil Unions will ultimately be able to be converted to marriages.