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Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Stitely Entertainment, Chicago, Illinois

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Stitely Entertainment - Chicago, IllinoisPeriodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Entertainment in Chicago, IL, USA. One of Chicago’s top live music companies, we feature four exceptional bands and DJs for weddings, corporate or charitable events. We have fantastic jazz, string and acoustic rock combos, as well as professional solo musicians. Delivering a perfect event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of unique events.

See the Stitely Entertainment Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Illinois

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Flow Ceremonies, Chicago, Illinois

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Flow Ceremonies, Chicago; Photo by Kristin La Voie

Photo by Kristin La Voie

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Officiants in Chicago, IL, USA. One-of-a-Kind customized ceremonies that reflect your relationship, your values, your vision. I officiate at weddings, life passages from birth to death, and other ceremonies throughout Chicago and the Midwest, and I’ll be delighted to help you have a one-of-a-kind ceremony that reflects your personal style!

See the Flow Ceremonies Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Illinois

USA, Illinois: Cook County Issues Almost 600 Marriage Licenses to Same Sex Couples

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

Chicago ShorelineCouples have been quick to take advantage of the chance to marry early in Chicago.

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.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

Featured Gay Friendly Wedding Vendor: Memory Makers Entertainment, Grayslake, Illinois

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Memory Makers Entertainment - Lake County, IllinoisPeriodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Entertainment in Grayslake, IL, USA. Lake County’s top entertainment service. DJs, photobooth and uplighting services for any occasion from 25- 2,500. Our Gay Friendly service holds a hold a monthly showcase for you to “try it, before you buy it”.

See the Memory Makers Entertainment Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Illinois

USA, Illinois: And Grundy County Makes Seven

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Illinois County

Counties with Early Marriage Equality

Yet another Illinois county has already issued a marriage license to a same sex couple.

The Morris Daily Herald reports:

Grundy County joined a handful of counties in Illinois allowing same-sex marriages before the law becomes official June 1. Last Thursday, the Grundy County Clerk and recorder’s office issued the county’s first same-sex marriage license to a couple who were previously united through a civil union. Grundy County is able to issue the licenses four months in advance because of a ruling handed down from a federal district court. The federal judge ruled in favor of allowing Cook County to issue same-sex marriage licenses before the June 1 start date, Grundy County State’s Attorney Jason Helland said.

That makes seven: Cass, Champagne, Cook, Grundy, Macon, McLean, and St. Clair, with Lake and Jackson counties considering it.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

Image via the US census

USA, Illinois: Two More Counties Jump on the Marriage Equality Bandwagon

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Illinois Counties with Marriage Equality

Illinois Counties Starting Marriage Equality Early

An update on Illinois and the early arrival of marriage equality.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Two more counties say they will start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples before the state’s new marriage equality law takes effect on June 1. St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook and Cass County Clerk Michael Kirchner say they will start accepting applications immediately. That’s after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan advised that counties don’t have to wait until June. Madigan’s guidance was in response to a question about the scope of a federal court ruling that found Illinois’ original ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

And one of our readers, Emily, reports:

“I called the Jackson County courthouse yesterday and the woman I spoke to said they were waiting on the software to be installed and “some documents from the State” (whatever that means); but they would be issuing same sex licenses as soon as these things were in place. I was happily surprised to hear this response from our small town filled county.”

So that’s six counties for sure, and maybe eight if you include Lake County (which is seeking further clarification from AG Madigan before proceeding) and Jackson County.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

Map via US Census

USA, Illinois: Will Counties Follow Governor, Attorney General’s Lead on Marriage Equality?

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Illinois Counties

Five Counties Issuing or Considering Issuing Licenses Now

Both Governor Quinn and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan have endorsed the Cook County ruling moving up the date for marriage equality in Illinois to now from June 1st. But will other counties follow suit?

LGBTQ Nation reports:

County clerks around Illinois say they won’t start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately as Attorney General Lisa Madigan said this week they have the right to do. Many worry that doing so before the new law takes effect in June could put their offices at risk of lawsuits and perhaps hurt the couples themselves. In interviews with about a dozen clerks, only one – Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean – said he would begin as soon as he has proper software installed for the forms that need to be filled out. Bean said the first marriage license might be issued as early as Friday. As for the others, they said they would not follow the lead of Cook and Champaign counties, which have already started issuing licenses, or McLean County, which will start March 24.

Clerks in the “collar counties” – those around Chicago, agreed.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

Officials in Chicago’s collar counties still plan to wait until June to begin granting same-sex marriage licenses, despite a statement this week from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan that the state’s current restriction on gay marriage is unconstitutional. If anything, some county clerks said, Madigan’s opinion has led to more confusion. “It’s putting the clerks, I would say, in a very precarious situation,” said McHenry County Clerk Katherine Schultz. “Let me tell you, the law says June 1. If (legislators) want it different, they need to get it changed.”… “Without a court order saying we should do it … any license could be challenged,” said Kane County Clerk John Cunningham, who questioned whether Madigan’s letter was politically motivated. “What authority do we have to issue them?”

Should Madigan have been more forceful in her opinion? So far, only four counties are issuing licenses or have indicated they will soon: Cook, Champaign, Macon and McLean. Lake County has also asked for clarification form the AG. All five counties are in northern or central Illinois.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

Image via the US Census.

USA, Illinois: Attorney General Says All Counties Can Issue Marriage Licenses to Same Sex Couples NOW

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Attorney General Lisa MadiganBig news coming out of Illinois today – the courthouse doors have been thrown open for marriage equality across the state.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Tuesday told an Illinois county clerk that he and others around the state have the right to immediately issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Madigan issued the guidance in response to a question from Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean, who questioned the legal effect of the ruling in Lee v. Orr on Feb. 21 by a federal judge in Chicago. Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman determined Illinois’ original ban was unconstitutional. A state law legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect June 1, but the ruling by the federal court means there’s nothing to stop couples from marrying now…

Madigan said county clerks should consult with their state’s attorneys, consider federal rulings on the issue and the cost and potential litigation in the event of a lawsuit challenging any denial. She said if requests for licenses are denied, “couples may opt to obtain their marriage licenses in Cook County to be married there, or they may file a lawsuit.” Gov. Pat Quinn, in a statement, said every county clerk in Illinois should quickly follow Madigan’s guidance.

Will all counties now start marrying same sex couples, or will there be some hold-outs?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

USA, Illinois: Third County to Start Issuing Marriage Licenses to Same Sex Couples

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Illinois mapFollowing the lead of Champaign and Cook counties, a third Illinois county plans to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

McLean County, Ill., Clerk Kathy Michael says she hopes to be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples by the middle of next week, months ahead of the June 1 date when Illinois’ marriage equality law is scheduled to take effect. The decision would make McLean the third county, and largest geographically in the state, to do so after a federal judge ruled same-sex couples in Cook County did not have to wait until the law takes effect this summer. “It’s legal, if there’s an illness, to be granted a marriage license of same-sex, now,” Michael, a Republican, told WGLT Public Radio. “Why would it be delayed till June First, when there are exceptions that are already being made?”

But a number of other counties are sticking to their guns:

More than half a dozen counties in central Illinois — Sangamon, Logan, Cass, Morgan, Macoupin, Montgomery and Christian — said they’d comply with the new law as written, reported the (Springfield) State Journal-Register.

But generally, confusion reigns as county clerks try to decide if they should follow state law and wait or follow the Cook County ruling.

Buzzfeed reports:

Counties across Illinois are treating same-sex couples differently, the result of confusion over a court ruling last week that led to same-sex couples being able to marry immediately in Cook County but did not directly apply elsewhere — and state officials’ silence on the legal implications of the Cook County decision. The lack of statewide guidance on the issue led one county clerk Thursday to seek direction from Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Her office, thus far, has not said whether counties in the state besides Cook County have the authority or are required to begin marrying same-sex couples now, months before the state’s marriage equality law is due to take effect.

I hope that Madigan will provide that advice soon, and open the door for all of Illinois.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.

USA, Illinois: Second County to Issue Marriage Licenses Immediately to Same Sex Couples

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Illinois mapChampaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said his county will follow Cook County’s lead after a judge there opened marriage up to same sex couples early.

Capitol Fax reports:

“On Friday, federal judge Sharon Johnson Coleman held that the Illinois statute banning marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional and violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The Illinois Attorney General and the Cook County Clerk were parties to the suit. The precise effect of the ruling on other Illinois counties is unclear. However, after consulting with State’s Attorney Julia Rietz, I have come to the conclusion that the rationale of the case applies to all citizens of Illinois and that Champaign County residents should have no fewer Constitutional rights than those in Cook County. Furthermore, given the ruling, denying a license to a same sex couple would provide no benefit to the County and would likely result in litigation at taxpayer expense. Therefore, effective immediately, the Champaign County Clerk’s office will issue marriage licenses to same sex applicants, in accordance with the 14th Amendment, and the Illinois and United States Constitutions.”

Meanwhile, in Cook County, more than 80 same sex couples have already married.

LGBTQ Nation reports:

More than 80 same-sex couples have gotten marriage licenses in Cook County, including some from other Illinois counties who apparently didn’t want to wait until gay marriage becomes legal statewide on June 1. Cook County Clerk David Orr began issuing licenses on Friday after a federal judge ruled that Illinois’ original ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional so there was nothing to stop couples from marrying now.

The dam is broken – how quickly will other counties follow suit?

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Illinois.