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Ill. Elects Gay-Friendly Gov.

Ill. Elects Gay-Friendly Gov.


Antigay Republican Bill Brady has finally conceded defeat in the Illinois governor's race.

Brady (pictured, left) conceded early Friday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune reports, leaving gay-friendly incumbent Democrat Pat Quinn (pictured, right) the victor.

With all the state's precincts reporting, Quinn leads Brady by more than 19,000 votes out of more than 3 million cast. Brady was holding out hope for absentee ballots to close the gap, but Friday he and his staff "came to the conclusion that Governor Quinn won this race," he told reporters at a press conference in Bloomington, Ill., his home city.

Quinn's victory makes the prospects brighter than ever for civil unions for Illinois gay couples. The state legislature is expected to pass a civil unions bill by year end, and Quinn has pledged to sign it. Brady opposes the bill, although he had said he would not seek to repeal civil unions legislation enacted under Quinn. As a state senator, he proposed amending the Illinois constitution to ban marriage equality and sought to weaken the state antidiscrimination law; both moves were unsuccessful.

The win means Quinn will begin his first full term as governor. A longtime progressive activist in Illinois, he moved up from lieutenant governor when Gov. Rod Blagojevich, accused of misconduct, was removed from office in early 2009.

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