1. #16

    Illinois Legalizes Gay Marriage

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn takes to the podium before signing the state's Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to embrace full marriage equality for same sex couples, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, in Chicago. The law takes effect June 1, 2014. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

    M. Spencer Green/AP,M. Spencer Green

    Illinois became the 16th state in the country to allow same-sex couples to marry on Wednesday after Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill. “It has been a long and painful wait for many people,” said Attorney General Lisa Madigan. “At its heart, marriage equality is about the fundamentals of American principles of fairness and freedom, and it is about families.” After the law takes effect June 1, 2014, the state is expecting a boom in business and tourism spending, potentially up to $103 million in the first three years, according to a study by UCLA’s The Williams Institute.

    Read it at NBC Chicago