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Obama "Absolutely Convinced" Illinois Lawmakers Should Pass Marriage Equality Bill

"I just want to say for the record it's something that I deeply support," Obama said of the pending marriage equality bill there. The president raised the issue at a high-dollar dinner in Chicago on Wednesday, but not at an earlier, larger reception.

Posted on May 30, 2013, at 12:49 a.m. ET

Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT

With two days left in the Illinois legislative session, President Obama reiterated his support for a marriage equality bill there, telling attendees at a fundraising dinner in Chicago Wednesday night that passage of the bill is "the right thing to do."

"Here in Illinois, we've got a vote on same-sex marriage that's going to be coming up in the state legislature. And I just want to say for the record it's something that I deeply support," Obama said at the event held to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The remarks came at a dinner held at the home of Bettylu and Paul Saltzman in Chicago's Streeterville neighborhood, which the DCCC estimated would be attended by 70 people. Obama made no mention of the marriage measure in his earlier speech to a larger audience, which the DCCC estimated at 150 people, at the Hilton Chicago.

The Illinois Senate already passed a marriage equality bill, but the bill has not been brought to a vote yet in the Illinois House, where supporters have claimed they have the 60 needed votes for passage but confirmation of those numbers has been hard to come by.

Obama noted his own path on the issue in his mention of marriage equality at the dinner event, saying, "I wrestled with this for a long time and I am absolutely convinced it is the right thing to do. And we have to make sure that wherever we go, we are reminding people that the essence of America is that everybody is treated equally under the law without exception."