Equality Illinois guides same-sex couples in freedom to marry

Thu. April 24, 2014 8:46 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

equality illinois marriage resources

photo credit // equality illinois

Latest EQIL marriage guide lists hundreds of clergy who perform same-sex marriages

Chicago, IL - LGBT advocacy group Equality Illinois has created two informative pamphlets to help Illinois same-sex couples navigate the new freedom to marry.

The organization's just-issued listing of wedding officiants joins the updated Equality Illinois guide Marriage Rights in Illinois as aids to help couples navigate the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

"Many clergy or religious institutions welcome same-sex marriages, so Equality Illinois created this listing, which we expect to grow, of faith leaders who embrace same-sex couples," Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov said in a released statement. "Christian, Jewish, Muslim and non-denominational leaders from all corners of Illinois are represented in the guide."

The updated Equality Illinois guide Marriage Rights in Illinois answers most of the other questions couples have about taking advantage of the state's new marriage law, including how to convert a civil union into a marriage.

Equality Illinois noted that no religious officiant is required to perform a marriage; a marriage ceremony can be performed by a sitting or retired judge or by the Cook County Clerk, and some of the religious officiants may perform a non-religious ceremony. Additionally, no clergy member or faith institution is obligated under law to perform a marriage or civil union ceremony.

Illinois marriage equality law goes into effect statewide on June 1, 2014. Couples can already marry in Cook County due to a federal court ruling, which a number of other counties have also decided to follow. More than 1,000 licenses have been issued to same-sex couples in Cook County alone, according to County Clerk David Orr. The counties now issuing marriage licenses, according to an Equality Illinois survey of all 102 Illinois counties, are: Champaign, Clinton, Cook, DeKalb, Greene, Grundy, Hardin, Jackson, Macon, McLean, Ogle, Perry, St. Clair, Wabash, and Woodford.

The two pamphlets are available for viewing and downloading at www.eqil.org/marriage.

From a news release

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