Illinois looks set to become the next US state to legalize same-sex marriage, with two Democratic lawmakers announcing they will put forward a bill to create marriage equality in the state in 2013.
The move by Senator Heather Steans and Representative Greg Harris follows comments by Illinois state Governor Pat Quinn that he would like to see marriage equality legislation passed in the state as soon as January next year.
Senator Steans told USA Today that the pair were confident of securing enough votes in both houses to pass the bill.
‘We’re in striking distance of being able to get it done,’ Steans said.
If Quinn signs the bill into law, same-sex couples in Illinois could begin to marry from July 1.
Quinn told the Chicago Tribune on Monday, ‘I hope that bill goes forward.’
‘It’s the House [of Representatives] that’s probably the key arena at this time, and I think we’ll see how the members look at that issue. They should study it carefully and vote with their conscience.’
Illinois would become the tenth US state to legalize same-sex marriage, while same-sex marriages are also performed in the District of Columbia that houses the US capitol and on Suquamish and Coquille Native American reservations.
Quinn’s comments come on the heels of same-sex couples begining to wed in Washinton state and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton saying he would be willing to sign a marriage equality bill into law.