Obama applauds Illinois on marriage equality

President Obama commended his home state, Illinois, on Tuesday night for soon becoming the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

“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,” he said in a statement. 

The state legislature passed a gay marriage bill Tuesday, which Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn was expected to sign. The state Senate passed it earlier this year, but it failed to reach the House before the spring session closed in May.  

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The new law would take effect June 1.

“Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours — and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law,” the president said.

New Jersey was the last state to legalize same-sex marriage, just a few weeks ago.

This comes the same week as Obama urged lawmakers in Washington to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The Senate advanced it on Monday, but Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has already expressed his opposition, signaling it probably wouldn’t reach the House floor for a vote.