Chicago, IL —
Illinois is a governor's signature away from becoming the 16th state in the country to allow full marriage equality -- the stroke of the pen will come later Wednesday during a historic signing of Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.
Gov. Pat Quinn and numerous elected officials, advocates and members of the public will take part in the signing of Illinois' marriage equality bill at 3:30 p.m. at the University of Illinois (UIC) Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., in Chicago."Marriage equality is coming to Illinois," Quinn said Nov. 7 when announcing event details.ChicagoPride.com has confirmed the governor will sign the bill on the desk Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address. The Chicago Sun-Times' Michael Sneed first reported the desk will be shipped Wednesday morning from Springfield
to the governor's office in Chicago.Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon are among the political leaders expected to attend Wednesday's bill signing."This is a momentous step toward fairness and equality," said Simon. "I am excited to be a part of this event and can't wait to start receiving wedding invitations."The Illinois General Assembly passed Senate Bill 10 on Nov. 5. Illinois would have been the 15th state but Hawaii passed marriage equality legislation last week that was immediately signed into law, with a Dec. 2 effective date. Illinois' marriage equality law will go into effect June 1, 2014."I can tell you that passing it was a lot better than waiting," state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the chief architect of the bill, told ChicagoPride.com about the long process for passage in the Illinois House. "I can also tell you that I read a really interesting quote from President Lincoln that said, 'Sometimes I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.'" Nearly 3,000 people are expected to attend Wednesday's signing ceremony, which is capacity for the UIC Forum. In 2010, more than 1,000 attended the civil union bill-signing at the Chicago Cultural Center."What an amazing moment this is for thousands of families," Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov told ChicagoPride.com. "As the governor signs the bill, I will be thinking of them; especially of the children who will not have to live with the feeling of their families being disapproved or marginalized. This amazing celebratory day belongs to everyone." The signing and celebration is free of charge and open to the public. Online registration has closed and all attendees will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 2:00 p.m.The event will be streamed live at equality.Illinois.gov and by blueroomstream.
After the signing, Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, will host a celebration
with wedding cake and champagne beginning at 5 p.m. Bishop to offer prayers of "supplication and exorcism"At about the same time Quinn signs the marriage bill into law, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki will offer "Prayers of Supplication and Exorcism in Reparation for the Sin of Same-Sex Marriage" at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield. (Read more)