By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is expected to sign same-sex marriage into law on Wednesday afternoon, which will make President Barack Obama's home state the 16th to allow such unions. Illinois state senators voted to legalize gay marriage last February, and the state House followed suit by a slim margin earlier this month. Once signed by the Democratic governor, the law is due to take effect on June 1, 2014. The Illinois measure is the latest in a series of recent victories for gay rights, coming after Hawaii's governor signed gay marriage into law last week and after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie dropped his legal opposition to such unions last month.
By Nick Carey LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Reuters) - After a string of setbacks and losses, the insurgent Tea Party movement is at a crossroads, between learning to live within the Republican Party or pursuing its fight against those it sees as not conservative enough. The choice is an easy one for Tea Party activists, who vow to keep up their campaign to vote out of office those Republican politicians they say have betrayed the tenets of the conservative cause - smaller government and less federal spending and taxes. Voters nationally blame October's partial government shutdown on Republicans, and particularly the Tea Party, which lost elections earlier this month in Virginia and Alabama. With important mid-term congressional elections coming in November 2014, the Tea Party is under pressure from within the Republican Party to call off their insurgency and focus on the end game of defeating Democrats, rather than bruising primaries to clobber Republicans, some of whom could be in close contests to keep their seats.