Look at how quickly the debate on gays has moved in this country.
10 years ago it was controversial to try to require homeowners to rent to a gay couple. (And we still haven't passed that law in the Illinois legislature).
Today, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago -- the capital of the American heartland -- says that he has "no problem" with marriage licenses issued to gay couples. It's in today's Sun-Times.
Cultural tolerance of homosexuals has increased dramatically in the nineties and in the oughts (the 2000s). It's stunning, really. What a shift.
(But this hasn't hit the south, and the southern half of Illinois is not nearly as tolerant as the northern half. So passing any legislation in the state is a slow, long road.)