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Illinois Gov. Undecided on Marriage Equality

Illinois Gov. Undecided on Marriage Equality

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Illinois governor Pat Quinn, who last year enthusiastically signed a civil unions bill into law, is less certain about marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Quinn, a Democrat, said he wants to study the issues surrounding marriage equality before making a decision on the recently introduced legislation, the Associated Press reports. The state's three openly gay lawmakers introduced the bill last week in the House of Representatives.

LGBT activists remained hopeful that Quinn would support the measure. "As the governor continues to consider the needs of gay and lesbian couples in loving, committed relationships, I hope that he will become a champion of their full marriage equality," Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of the gay rights group Equality Illinois, told ChicagoPride.com. He added, "In the meantime, the challenge is for us in the LGBT equality movement to ensure that we build on the momentum for marriage equality and deliver the bill to governor's desk as soon as possible."

ChicagoPride.com notes that Quinn, a Catholic, has received criticism from conservatives and some religious leaders for his pro-gay and pro-choice positions. Quinn narrowly won the governor's race in 2010 over far-right Republican Bill Brady. Some observers believe LGBT voters were crucial to Quinn's victory.

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