In the wake of the Illinois state House’s vote Tuesday to approve gay marriage, President Obama said that he and first lady Michelle Obama are “overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours.”
Mr. Obama’s home state is now expected to become the 15th to legalize same-sex unions after the bill heads to the Democrat-controlled state Senate, where the measure almost surely will pass.
The president, who publicly came out in favor of gay marriage last year, applauded his former colleagues in Illinois and said the state’s same-sex marriage debate is an example for others to follow.
SEE RELATED: Illinois lawmakers pass bill for gay marriage
“I also commend the members of the General Assembly for approaching this issue in a fair and open way, and for recognizing the importance of our commitment to religious freedom by engaging the religious community in this conversation,” Mr. Obama said. “Throughout this debate, they’ve made it clear that this is about civil marriage and civil laws, and made sure churches and other institutions of faith are still free to make their own decisions that conform to their own teachings.”