CHICAGO -- It's official. Illinois is now the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Governor Quinn signed the bill in front of a group of about 1,000 supporters Wednesday. WCIA-3's Capitol Bureau Chief Steve Staeger was there.
"I did not think, that in my lifetime, we would see this."
But, when the ink hit the paper, that dream came true for Laine Tadlock.
"It's a wonderful day to finally be free and equal."
Laine and her wife, Kae, were featured a few years ago. Laine lost her job at Springfield's Benedictine University because she announced to her colleagues she had married Kae in Iowa. That legal battle is still ongoing, but this signature marks the end of another fight.
"Final acceptance, I would say. We get to have the same legal rights as everyone else and maybe we can stop letting people treat us like we're different. We're not, we're just normal people, like everyone else."
Those two have already had their wedding. Now hundreds of other couples will start planning theirs. One state leader says she's willing to help.
"I am available to be a flower girl and I will even waive the fee."
The governor's signature officially makes the bill law, but those couples will have to wait until June 1, 2014 to start getting married.
CHICAGO -- The State of Illinois made history Wednesday afternoon. Same-sex couples are celebrating a major step forward for gay rights.
Governor Quinn signed the Marriage Equality Bill into law making Illinois the 16th state to do so. It wasn't your typical bill signing ceremony.
Normally, these things are either done in private, or, if it's a bigger issue, there might be a small crowd, but thousands showed up for history in the making. They waited hours in line for a pass to get in the doors.
The whole crowd, including top state officials, was buzzing with excitement. That's because, from now on, same-sex couples will get the same rights and benefits as any other married couple in Illinois.
It's a freedom supporters have been fighting for, for years. But, even with all of the excitement, supporters know there's still along way to go before there is true equality.
Even though Governor Quinn signed the law Wednesday, couples won't be able to get married until June 1, 2014. Many say, that's OK, at least they can get married. Some couples who've been together for decades say they never thought this day would come.
CHICAGO -- Same-sex marriage is now legal in Illinois. Governor Quinn just signed the measure into law. Supporters are calling this an historic day.
It was a celebration with thousands showing up to the bill signing from all over the state. They say they had to be here since it's a day which will change the lives of so many people.
For years, supporters have argued marriage equality is a matter of civil rights and that civil unions simply don't go far enough. Now, all couples in Illinois will have equal rights under the law.
Same-sex marriages can start June 1, 2014. Governor Quinn says he hopes Illinois will serve as an example for the rest of the county.
One interesting part of Wednesday's ceremony, Governor Quinn used a desk from Abraham Lincoln's law office in Springfield to sign the bill. It's because Lincoln is known as one of the fathers of civil rights in U.S. history.
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