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Illinois gay rights and marriage equality news
The Washington Blade reports:
A law allowing same-sex couples to marry in Illinois took effect throughout the state on Sunday. The Windy City Times reported a number of public events are scheduled to take place in the Chicago metropolitan area to celebrate the statute taking effect. These include the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Equality Illinois on Monday hosting 15 same-sex couples who will tie the knot. “It is such a historic moment for our state,” Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov told the Washington Blade before the law took effect. “For the first time ever no matter where you live in the state these couples in loving, committed relationships will have their love and family recognized as equal by the law. And that means so much for people.”
Quad City Times notes that those with existing civil unions can backdate their marriage licenses to their civil unions date:
Three years after taking part in a civil union June 2, 2011, with many other couples in Chicago’s Millennium Park, Hartman, 36, and Dickey, 39, will be relieved that they can identify themselves as a married couple with state gay marriage laws taking effect Sunday. “We’re going to be celebrating our three-year (civil union) anniversary by going to City Hall in Rock Island,” said Hartman, who added the couple considered getting married in a different state, such as Iowa, but decided against it. “We decided what we’d really like to do is to have our civil union retroactively turned into a marriage,” Hartman said. “Instead of saying we got a civil union, it will say we got married in 2011.”
The change may be more than symbolic – couples can refile their taxes and claim any additional savings for those three years.
Same-sex couples have been able to marry in more than a dozen Illinois counties following a February ruling that initially applied only to Cook County. The rest of the state’s counties will follow at the end of this week when SB10 formally goes into effect statewide on June 1st. Via the Windy City Times: Representatives from Champaign, Christian, Crawford and Montgomery counties told Equality Illinois their clerk’s offices would be open Sunday, June 1. Cook will not be open until the next day. Because of a 24-hour waiting period that is required after getting a marriage license, June 2 will be the first day couples applying on that day can marry. In areas where the county clerk’s office is closed June 1, June 3 will be first day.
Joe also notes that couples who marry after June 1st can backdate their marriage licenses to the date of their civil union together.
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Edge Boston reports:
The Cook County clerk’s office says it has issued 575 marriage licenses to same-sex couple in the month since it was allowed by a court ruling. Cook County Clerk David Orr said Friday that the couples have come from 17 states besides Illinois and 11 Illinois counties outside Cook County. A state law legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect June 1. But a federal judge in Chicago ruled Feb. 21 that Illinois’ original ban was unconstitutional. Cook County started issuing the licenses the same day.
Along with Cook County, at least 6 other counties in the state are now issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples. The rest are, apparently, waiting for June 2nd, the original date set by the law.