Governor Pat Quinn today released the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
"Today the Supreme Court took a historic step by providing equal access to more than 1,100 federal rights and benefits for same-sex couples.
"Members of the Illinois House now have more than 1,100 new reasons to make marriage equality the law in Illinois.
"This is a monumental day for freedom in the history of our nation. The opportunity to guarantee equal rights and benefits to all citizens - under both state and federal law - is one we must seize here in the Land of Lincoln without delay.
"Now is the time for all to put differences aside, band together and redouble our efforts to make it happen.
"I will continue working with members of the Illinois House and all of our tireless community advocates to bring marriage equality to Illinois as soon as possible."
In 2011, Governor Pat Quinn fought for and signed into law historic civil unions legislation. Since that time, nearly 5,200 couples across 94 counties have joined in a civil union. Governor Quinn called for the next step of full marriage equality in Illinois more than a year ago and made it a top legislative priority in his 2013 State of the State address.
Senate Bill 10, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans, would have established equal access to status, benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities for same-sex and different-sex couples entering into marriage. The bill passed the Senate on February 14, and was not brought to a vote in the House.