Durbin's letter follows the state's GOP chairman, Pat Brady, saying on Wednesday that legalizing gay marriage "honors the best conservative principles." The White House has also reportedly urged the Illinois legislature, where President Obama used to serve, to legalize same-sex marriage.
"My own views on this issue have evolved over the years, and as I reflect on my support for marriage equality, I have concluded that ending this discrimination is consistent with the evolution of civil rights in our democracy — a process served so nobly by a former member of the General Assembly, Abraham Lincoln," Durbin continues in the letter.
On Wednesday, gay marriage legislation stalled in the legislature after Republicans in the state Senate blocked a push for the bill to be taken up by a committee. Illinois Democrats say they still have enough votes to pass the bill and the bill's sponsor, state Sen. Heather Steans (D), plans to make another push to move the bill closer to passage on Thursday.
Read Durbin's letter below: