A measure to legalize same-sex marriage was passed 34-21 by Illinois Senate Thursday, CNN reported.
The measure brings the state closer to legalizing gay marriage and the majority vote is unexpected, The New York Times reported.
If gay marriage were legalized in Illinois, it would be the 10th state, plus the District of Columbia, in the United States to do so, according to Lambda Legal as reported by CNN.
"it wasn't too long ago that people did not think they would see this day," State Representative Greg Harris said as reported by The New York Times.
Two years ago Illinois passed civil union legislation, The New York Times reported.
Four other states have civil union laws -- Hawaii, Delaware, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, according to Lambda Legal and the National Conference of State Legislatures as reported by CNN.