CHICAGO (AP) -- Gov. Pat Quinn is stepping up his support for allowing gay marriage in Illinois.
The Democrat says he'll work with state legislators to make it a reality. Quinn adds that he doesn't want to wait for the courts to act first.
On Monday, he told reporters Illinois should show the nation it's a state that "believes in respecting everyone."
Quinn helped get civil unions approved last year in the Legislature but had for years given vague answers when asked about gay marriage.
Explaining his evolution, Quinn said civil unions have worked well over the past year and now he plans to push for what he calls marriage equality.
Last week, after President Barack Obama endorsed gay marriage, Quinn released a statement saying "he stands with the president."