Ald. James Cappleman going out of state to get married

Thu. October 10, 2013 12:35 PM by News Staff

ald. james cappleman and richard thale in 2013 pride parade

photo credit //

Openly-gay Chicago alderman has to leave own state to marry longtime partner

Chicago, IL - Ald. James Cappleman (46th), one of three openly LGBT aldermen in Chicago, is headed to Washington state next month to marry his longtime partner Richard Thale.

"Like any other married couple, we want to make sure the legal protections are in place to safeguard our already committed relationship," Cappleman told

Cappleman, 60, and Thale, 57, have been together 22 years after first meeting in church. Cappleman announced on his Facebook page that they will get married Nov. 22 in Seattle.

"Our decision was based on the recent (U.S.) Supreme Court ruling that would grant us federal recognition of our relationship," Cappleman wrote. "Should something happen to either one of us, we didn't want to take the risk of losing those federal protections that other married couples already have."

The couple entered into a civil union last year, but Cappleman said he is frustrated over a stalled marriage equality bill in the Illinois House, which would bring additional protections for same-sex married couples.

"State Rep. Greg Harris has done an incredible job," said Cappleman. "Others need to respond to the will of the public who now support marriage equality."

Cappleman told that he'd prefer to get married in his home state and shared this message for elected officials: "Now is the time to pass marriage equality, not next year."

The alderman said he will continue to work with Harris to pass the marriage equality bill in Illinois.