Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn may have inadvertently thrown an engagement party Tuesday night. As elected officials, activists and other supporters celebrated the passage of the state’s marriage equality bill at the Governor’s Mansion, Rep. Sam Yingling paused the party to propose to his longtime partner, Lowell Jaffe. “I love that you care about other people more than yourself,” Yingling said as the party cheered. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Yingling and Jaffe stood with their children and Quinn as the crowd applauded their engagement. Jaffe, who was unable to witness the Illinois House — of which Yingling is a member — pass the marriage equality bill, came to the after party. He said he was shocked and surprised.
In related news, President Obama was thrilled by the bill’s passage.
The Washington Blade reports:
President Obama applauded the Illinois Legislature on Tuesday for passing marriage equality legislation in the state where once he served as both a state and federal lawmaker. In a statement made public by the White House on Tuesday, Obama said he’s “overjoyed” over the news that the Illinois Legislature had sent marriage equality legislation to the Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk. “So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law,” Obama said.
Same sex couples can begin to marry in Illinois next June.