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updated: 5/21/2013 5:50 PM

Clinton says Illinois should legalize gay marriage

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  • Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2012.

      Former President Bill Clinton addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Sept. 5, 2012.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Former President Bill Clinton is calling on Illinois lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage.

In a statement Tuesday, Clinton says Illinois "has stood for the proposition that all citizens should be treated equally under the law" since the days of Abraham Lincoln.

Clinton says Lincoln dedicated his life to ensuring equal opportunity for all citizens and that in the 21st century that should include allowing gay marriage.

The Illinois Senate approved a law legalizing gay marriage in February. The measure is pending in the Illinois House, where supporters and opponents have been heavily lobbying legislators.

Gov. Pat Quinn supports the bill. He said earlier this week it is one of his top legislative priorities before the session ends May 31.

Opponents say marriage should be between a man and woman.

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