Illinois Lawmakers Approve Gay Marriage

The Midwest state becomes the 16th in the country to allow same-sex marriage

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Illinois became the sixteenth state in the union to legalize gay marriage after the House and Senate passed a bill Thursday evening that is expected to be signed by Governor Pat Quinn sometime this month.

After two-and-a-half hours of debate, the bill only narrowly passed the House Tuesday with 61 votes, one more than the minimum, the Chicago Tribune reports. The Senate, which previously approved a slightly different version of the bill, later approved the revised version 32-21.

“Tonight, I applaud the men and women of the Illinois General Assembly, a body in which I was proud to serve, for voting to legalize marriage equality in my home state,” President Barack Obama said in an emailed statement on the bill’s passage Tuesday evening.

INTERACTIVETimeline of the Gay Rights Movement in the U.S.

A previous version of this article stated that Gov. Quinn had already signed the bill. He did not; he is expected to do so this month. TIME regrets the error.

[Chicago Tribune]