Quinn, Rauner face off on same-sex marriage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After 50 years as a couple, Patrick Bova and James Darby did not mind that their wedding also became, in part, a political event.

As they wed Monday, their witness was Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. Quinn campaigned for the bill, which passed last year and made same sex marriages legal beginning June 1.

"I was proud to sign that law and I will always treasure the fact that I had that opportunity," said Quinn.

As Quinn congratulated the grooms, his Republican opponent Bruce Rauner was haunted by something he said seven months ago. Asked then if he, as governor, would sign the marriage equality bill passed a few hours earlier by the legislature, he said, "It would all depend on whether the voters had approved it in a referendum. Today, they haven't approved it in a referendum so if I were governor I would veto."

At Daley Plaza, gay rights advocates who said they were not connected to the Quinn campaign demonstrated against Rauner.

"Shame on Bruce Rauner for pledging to veto the marriage rights bill," said Bernard Cherkasov of Equality Illinois.

After a speech Monday in Naperville, Rauner insisted his focus remains jobs and education and that a social issue, like gay marriage, should be decided elsewhere.

"I believe it's an issue that's best decided by the voters in a referendum," Rauner said.

"I didn't need a referendum to tell me what was the right thing to do," said Gov. Quinn.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.