Illinois Is 16th State to OK Gay Marriage

'Triumph of democracy' as church attempts exorcism

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 21, 2013 12:25 AM CST | Updated Nov 21, 2013 1:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn invoked Abraham Lincoln as he signed a marriage equality bill into law, making the state the 16th to legalize gay marriage—and the third in the space of a month, after Hawaii and New Jersey. Lincoln "said our nation was conceived in liberty," the governor said. "And that’s really what we’re celebrating today, it’s a triumph of democracy, a triumph of government of the people—that we believe in liberty and equality." Politicians and thousands of supporters cheered as the bill was signed and Kool and the Gang’s "Celebration" was played, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The bill will allow same-sex marriages to start taking place next June.

"There is no straight or gay marriage. From now on there is only marriage in Illinois," Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said during the ceremony. But not everybody in the state was cheering, reports the Chicago Tribune. In Springfield, a Catholic cathedral was packed as a bishop prayed to exorcise "every unclean spirit, every power of darkness, every incursion of the infernal enemy, every diabolical legion, cohort, and faction." The bishop later said he didn't believe "anyone involved in the redefinition of marriage is possessed by the devil"—"but all of us are certainly subject to the devil's evil influences." He added that he didn't expect instant results.

Lifelong partners Jim Darby, left, and Patrick Bova kiss before Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.
Lifelong partners Jim Darby, left, and Patrick Bova kiss before Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, center, signs the state's Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, center, signs the state's Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
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