Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed the state’s equal marriage bill into law.

He did so yesterday at a desk shipped from Springfield that President Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address in 1861 — a speech on the cusp of the Civil War that called on Americans to heed “the better angels of our nature.”

But it was another Lincoln speech that Governor Quinn referenced as he spoke to about 2,300 supporters gathered at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“In the very beginning of the Gettysburg Address, President Abraham Lincoln of Illinois said that our nation was conceived in liberty. And he said it’s dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, and that’s really what we’re celebrating today,” he said. “It’s a triumph of democracy.”

Earlier this month, the Illinois General Assembly passed the state’s equal marriage bill.

The Illinois House voted 61-54 in favour of making same-sex marriage legal.

Barack Obama, who served as a senator for Illinois before he became president, said it was a proud moment for his former home state.

Illinois has become the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage.

Under the marriage measure ‘SB10’ same-sex couples can get married in Illinois from June 2014.