Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday positioned their state to become the largest in the heartland to allow gay marriage, finally pushing the measure through the House after months of arduous lobbying in President Barack Obama’s home state.
Under the legalization measure, which the state House approved 61-54 before sending it on to the Senate for technical changes, gay weddings could take place in Illinois starting in June. The bill heads next to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has pledged to sign it, though it wasn’t immediately clear when.
Fourteen states plus Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriage.
Polls show support for gay marriage has surged since 1996, when Gallup found that 27 percent of Americans backed it. Now Gallup finds the majority support giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.