Hall reserved for same-sex marriage bill signing
BY DAVE MCKINNEY Springfield Bureau Chief November 7, 2013 8:20PM
Supporters of marriage equality rally in Springfield last month. File Photo | Jessica Koscielniak / Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: December 9, 2013 11:09AM
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Pat Quinn announced Thursday he plans to sign legislation allowing same-sex marriages on Nov. 20 at the UIC Forum, a venue that can hold as many as 3,000 people.
Quinn’s office said the free event will be open to anyone who wants to attend but asked those planning to go to register at a website the administration established: www.Equality.Illinois.gov.
“We just really need to get a good idea of how many will be there,” Quinn spokeswoman Katie Hickey said. “We don’t want to turn anybody away.”
Hickey said “about 100” attendees had signed up on the website within the first few minutes of it becoming active Thursday.
“It’s been going up and up since then,” she said.
The ceremony is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
State lawmakers passed the legislation allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry this week, which will make Illinois the 15th state recognizing same-sex marriages once Quinn signs the bill.
The law would take effect June 1, but there already is legislative momentum building in the Illinois Senate to move up that date.
State Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, is proposing legislation to allow the marriages to take effect immediately. That initiative could be acted upon sometime early next year.