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Illinois becomes 16th state to legalize gay marriage

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CHICAGO >> Illinois is now the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage. 

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill into law today in Chicago that makes the state the largest in the Midwest to legalize gay weddings. The law takes effect in June when county clerks can begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  

Illinois allowed civil unions in 2011, but it was a bumpy road to same-sex marriage in President Barack Obama’s home state. 

When 2013 began advocates hoped Illinois would’ve been the 10th state, but watched as other states passed it.

Hawaii’s Legislature approved same-sex marriage on Nov. 12, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed the bill into law the next day.

Illinois’ measure passed through the Senate in February, but the House sponsor said he didn’t have the votes. It wasn’t called until this month and passed by a close margin.

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