Declaring that "love never fails," Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn Wednesday signed legislation legalizing gay marriage on the same desk that President Abraham Lincoln used to pen his first inaugural address in 1861.
The desk had been shipped to Chicago from the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices in Springfield — a site maintained by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency — to help mark the historic event, which made Illinois the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage, according to NBC News.
Before sitting down at the desk at the UIC Forum on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus to sign the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act
, Quinn declared, "Love never fails."
According to The Associated Press
, Lincoln, who practiced law in Springfield from 1843 to 1852, used the desk to write his inaugural address, which he directed at the seven states that had seceded to form the Confederacy.
"We are not enemies, but friends," Lincoln said on March 4, 1861.
The same-sex law, which passed the legislature Nov. 5, will take effect June 1.
Civil unions have been permitted in Illinois since 2011, but same-sex couples now will be able to officially covert their unions into marriages. Those who joined together in a civil ceremony will have a year from the time the law takes effect to be married legally in the eyes of the state without paying the marriage-license fee.
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