Mayor Rahm Emanuel to attend Chicago's celebration of civil unions on June 2

Thu. May 26, 2011 2:41 PM by News Staff

mayor rahm emanuel and wife, amy, at his inauguration

photo credit // windy city times/kat fitzgerald

Thirty Illinois Couples to Hold Civil Union Ceremonies in Chicago’s Millennium Park on June 2, 2011

Chicago, IL - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will join Governor Pat Quinn for Chicago's celebration of civil unions, in recognition of the first day of civil unions in Illinois, on Thursday, June 2 at Millennium Park.

"Our state's first civil union ceremonies will mark a day of celebration and an historic milestone on the road to full marriage equality for LGBT Illinoisans," said Mayor Emanuel. "I look forward to attending this joyful event."

The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act, first introduced by State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) in March 2007, and in the Illinois Senate by State Sen. David Koehler, passed by a 61-vote majority in the House and a 32-vote majority in the Senate. 

Gov. Quinn signed the the civil unions legislation into law on January 31 during a ceremony in downtown Chicago, making Illinois the sixth state to allow civil unions. The law also includes provisions for hospital visitation and healthcare decision making. 

The celebration, hosted by Chicago's Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, will begin at 10 a.m. in Wrigley Square at Millennium Park, Randolph Street and Michigan Ave.

All 30 couples participating on June 2 will obtain a civil union license from the Cook County Clerk's office on June 1, the first day that civil union licenses can be obtained at any County Clerk's office. By law, couples must wait until the day after they obtain their license to have their civil union ceremony performed.

Cook County Clerk David Orr, the Hon. Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and members of the Alliance of Illinois Judges will officiate the civil union ceremonies.

The event is co-sponsored by The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in partnership with the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture, Lambda Legal, Equality Illinois, and the Alliance of Illinois Judges.

Rick Aguilar Studios will photograph the historic civil union ceremonies in Millennium Park. Nationally recognized for his wedding photography, Aguilar and his associates will provide photographs that not only document this moment in history but also capture the beauty and emotion of the first civil unions in the state. Stitely Entertainment will provide a string quartet for the gathering, and a performance by the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus will begin the civil union ceremonies.

Related: Leading up the historic mass civil-unions ceremony, celebrates the love and commitment of five couples taking part in the day's legally-binding festivities.

"A Passionate Couple:" Jim and Patrick
"Loyal. Love. Exceptional." Erica and Wanda
"Committed and Traditional:" Troy and Qadree
"Exciting Happiness:" Tenisha and Shanelle
"Spiritually Grounded; Creator Centered:" The Rev. Brenda and Lee

Related: View the full photo gallery of Rahm Emanuel's Inauguration from the Windy City Times and photographer Kat Fitzgerald (