Many Illinois residents and legislators are praising the General Assembly's decision to pass a bill in support of same-sex marriage.
House legislators voted Tuesday afternoon after about three hours of debate, pasing the bill with a 61-54 majority. The Senate followed suit shortly after 5 p.m., passing the measure.
Reaction to the historic vote was immediate, starting at the top, when President Barack tweeted his congratulations along with a #LoveIsLove hashtag.
Sen. Dick Durbin also hailed the decision.
“With this historic vote, another form of discrimination has fallen,” Durbin said. “When the Illinois Senate approves this measure, as they are expected to do soon, tens of thousands of Illinois families will finally be treated fairly under the law. This is a great day for marriage equality in Illinois and an important step down the path of addressing one of the great civil rights issues of our time.”
Illinois State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz of the 12th district said voting in favor of gay marriage was one of her proudest moments as a representative.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 5, 2013
"Throughout my career as a lawmaker I have strived to bring justice to my constituents," she said. "Today was that day."
Chicago-area pastors who are opposed to same-sex marriage say they will stand behind Illinois lawmakers who voted against the measure.
In a Tuesday statement, the group says those who voted against the measure are "champions in the eyes of traditional marriage."
The African-American Clergy Coalition. The group released rounds of robo calls objecting to same-sex marriage on religious grounds. The group has also vowed to run primary challenges against some lawmakers who voted for the law.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky voiced her approval Tuesday, but said the fight is far from over.
"We must continue to move these initiatives forward in states across the nation, and on the federal level, through bills such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the Respect for Marriage Act," she said.
However, not everyone is happy. The Catholic Conference of Illinois said it is disappointed with the House's decision and believes the state is attempting to redefine something outside of its authority.
"Today’s decision by Illinois lawmakers to change the definition of marriage not only goes against the common consensus of the human race – which understands that nature tells us that marriage is the union of one man and one woman – but it also undermines an institution that is the cornerstone of a healthy society," the organization said in a statement.
The bill will now move to the Illinois Senate, where the bill is expected to pass after senators approved it last February.