Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn makes notes on a briefing book during the Health and Human Services Committee meeting at the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) By Cliff Owen
Illinois Gov Pat Quinn holds up the signed civil unions bill during ceremonies Monday, Jan. 31, 2011 in Chicago. Illinois becomes the sixth state in the country to enact the initiative into law. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) By Charles Rex Arbogast
CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn is stepping up his support for allowing gay marriage in Illinois. The Democrat says he'll work with state legislators to make it a reality. Quinn adds that he doesn't want to wait for the courts to act first.
On Monday, he told reporters Illinois should show the nation it's a state that "believes in respecting everyone."
Quinn helped get civil unions approved last year in the Legislature but had for years given vague answers when asked about gay marriage.
Explaining his evolution, Quinn said civil unions have worked well over the past year and now he plans to push for what he calls marriage equality.
Last week, after President Barack Obama endorsed gay marriage, Quinn released a statement saying "he stands with the president."