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Illinois House votes to allow gay marriage; Senate approved in February and governor pledged to sign

BY KERRY LESTER AND SOPHIA TAREEN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- A historic vote Tuesday in the Illinois House positioned that state to become the largest in the heartland to legalize gay marriage, following months of arduous lobbying efforts by both sides in President Barack Obama's home state.

Lawmakers voted 61-54 to send the measure back to the Senate to change the bill's effective date, just a technical change since the chamber already approved the measure in February. The measure will then head to Gov. Pat Quinn, who has pledged to sign it into the law.

Fourteen states plus Washington D.C., allow same-sex marriage. Most recently, New Jersey, Minnesota and Rhode Island have allowed it.

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