From Lynn Sweet at the Sun-Times:

“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally,” Inouye said.

In the state Senate, passage is relatively secure. In the House, however, there’s a bigger lift, so perhaps support from Obama (who served in the state Senate) could make the difference. Of course, Obama came on board the marriage equality train during his re-election year once American support crossed the 50% threshold:

While Obama rarely gets involved in statehouse battles, he has voiced support for gay marriage measures in the past year, issuing — through his re-election campaign — statements of support for gay marriage ballot questions up last November in Maine, Maryland and Washington. Those initiatives won, and a Minnesota referendum to ban gay marriage — which Obama also publicly opposed — lost.

Obama himself endorsed gay marriage in May after grappling with the issue for several years. “At a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” Obama told ABC’s Robin Roberts.

“Leading Illinois Democrats” want the state legislature to send the governor a marriage equality bill he can sign soon:

The leading Democrats in Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, are urging lawmakers to send Quinn a gay marriage bill he can sign.

Photo by darcyandkat under Creative Commons license