“I am thrilled the Illinois House today passed marriage equality, and I eagerly await the Senate's seal of approval and Governor Quinn's signature.
"Same-sex couples throughout the state will at long last be able to declare their legally-recognized commitment to each other within their own communities, wherever they might live, and they will finally be able to share in the more than 1,100 rights and tax benefits that have been denied to them merely because of who they love and who they have chosen to spend their lives with.
"I applaud State Rep. Greg Harris for his persistence and leadership in the long fight for marriage equality.
"I have long believed in and supported marriage equality and while justice may have been delayed, it can no longer be denied. I look forward to issuing marriage licenses in 2014 to the many couples in Cook County who have waited far too long for this day.
"It’s been a privilege to be part of the great transformation that society has undergone over the past few decades and to see this change come to fruition: From the City Council’s passage in 1988 of Chicago’s Human Rights Ordinance; to Cook County’s domestic partnership registry in 2003; the state’s anti-discrimination law in 2005; the start of civil unions in Illinois two years ago; the recent passage in the U.S. Senate of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and now, our state becoming the 15th to put into law the guarantee of marriage equality.
"Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ And it’s heartening to see that arc now includes Illinois.”