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Tweet Of The Day – Equality Illinois

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Via Huffington Post:

Though Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is not planning to attend Sunday’s massive Gay Pride Parade in Chicago, his presence will still very much be felt — thanks to a giant banner erected by LGBT advocates. Equality Illinois and a number of associated community members and elected officials on Thursday unveiled a two-story banner featuring a photograph of Rauner along with his statement, made last year at a Tea Party event, that he would have vetoed Illinois’ new marriage equality bill had it come to his desk as governor of the state.

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Rauner/Sanguinetti ticket = bad for Illinois. 

h/t: Joseph Erbentraut at Huffington Post Gay Voices

h/t:  Bailey Otto at

The much-loved poet Dr. Maya Angelou once wrote, “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” It is that unrelenting power of love that unfolded during our fight for marriage equality in Illinois.

In the end, we succeeded in ensuring this civil right for all couples and put Illinois on the right side of history. Starting now, everyone in Illinois may receive the long-overdue rights of marriage. Advocates had to jump hurdles, leap fences and penetrate walls to make it happen, but we arrived at our destination. Last November 20th, I signed the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act into law.

In 2011, when I signed Illinois’ civil union legislation, few could predict that in a few short years, marriage equality would be the law of the land. Sometimes a struggle can take decades, but change can happen overnight. Now, through the tireless efforts of advocates who have stood up and spoken out for equality across Illinois and the nation, we made history and enacted a reform that will last forever.

Since taking office, I’ve worked to make Illinois a more welcoming state. After declaring marriage equality a priority in my 2013 State of the State Address, I worked with legislators and dedicated activists. It was a difficult battle, but eventually lawmakers passed Senate Bill 10, making Illinois the 16th state to embrace full marriage equality. The bill signing last November — before thousands of joyous people at the University of Illinois at Chicago — was among the proudest moments of my governorship.

The new law is simple and fair. It requires that Illinois laws pertaining to civil marriage must apply equally to all, and guarantees equal access to benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities for all couples entering into marriage and their families. These protections include provisions under the Affordable Care Act that require insurance companies to offer the same coverage for all spouses, regardless of gender. Families will be able to enroll in a plan together through a special 60-day enrollment period.

One person who made this day possible was Vernita Gray. A tenacious activist, Vernita was loved in the community and respected by politicians. She and her partner made history when a judge ruled that, due to Vernita’s declining health, they could marry late last year — ahead of today’s effective date. Vernita passed away in March with her new wife Pat by her side.

So today, I’ll think of Vernita Gray and others unable to witness this day. I’ll think of happy couples embarking on the adventure of marriage. And I will be proud to live in a state where the will of the people can become the law of the land.

I was proud to be a part of getting marriage equality passed and legalized in Illinois. 

H/T: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn in the Windy City Times

See Also: Justin’s Political Corner: BREAKING: Marriage Equality bill SB10 is NOW OFFICIALLY the law in Illinois.

H/T: Michael K. Lavers at Washington Blade




Time to celebrate if you live in Illinois!!! Marriage Equality is NOW the law of the land in Illinois, as the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act [SB10] goes into effect as of Midnight CDT today. 


How Bill got passed:

h/t: Jim Suhr at LGBTQNation, via Associated Press

Coming Sunday, June 1st, at Midnight: Marriage Equality becomes legal in Illinois statewide. 

Couples and counties throughout Illinois are preparing for the statewide launch of marriage equality, and Equality Illinois is working with the 102 counties to be as ready, open and understanding as possible in the performance of their duties.

Sixteen Illinois counties have already been issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples but haven’t been able to do civil union conversions: Cass, Champaign, Clinton, Cook, DeKalb, Greene, Grundy, Hardin, Jackson, Macon, McLean, Ogle, Perry, St. Clair, Wabash, and Woodford

According to an Equality Illinois statewide survey, an additional five counties will begin issuing licenses on Friday, May 30: Clay, DeWitt, Johnson, Massac, and Morgan.

And, the EQIL survey found, four clerks have announced that they plan to be open on June 1, which falls on a Sunday and is not usually a county business day, to issue marriage licenses and the certificates that allow couples in civil unions to convert their union into a marriage: Champaign, Christian, Crawford and Montgomery.

Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans, is talking with the clerks on subjects such as having the proper forms available and offering the civil union-to-marriage conversions regardless of what county the civil union originally occurred.

“This is a time of celebration in the Land of Lincoln, and all of us bear witness to this historic enactment of justice and basic fairness. We are especially happy for the thousands of Illinois couples and their families, some of whom have been waiting for decades for this moment,”  said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

“Even as we celebrate, we are working to ensure complete implementation of the law across the entire state, and we will be vigilant defending against any attempts to dilute or weaken the rights of our community. There is much work still to be done to secure full equality in Illinois and around the nation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Cherkasov said.

If couples encounter any difficulties or have questions, they should get in touch with Equality Illinois by calling at 773-477-7173 or emailing us

A lot happens in the first few days of June 2014 regarding marriage in Illinois and the implementation of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. Equality Illinois has reached out to all 102 counties since the freedom to marry became law in Illinois last November and is again in touch with the clerks asJune 1 approaches to share information about the law.

Here is a rundown of what happens:

Sunday, June 1 – a. All provisions of the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act are fully in effect throughout Illinois.

b. County clerks in all 102 counties are empowered to open and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and should have the appropriate forms to do so.

c. County clerks in all 102 counties are empowered to issue certificates that will allow a couple in a civil union to convert the union into a marriage, with an option to make the marriage date retroactive to the date of the civil union. The civil union need not have occurred in the county where the conversion to marriage is being done.

Monday, June 2 – a. As a Monday and a normal business day, this is the first work day that every county clerk must be issuing marriage licenses and civil union conversion certificates to same-sex couples.

b. Because of the requirement to wait at least one day between issuing a marriage license and the marriage ceremony, this is the first day that couples who received a license on Sunday, June 1 can get married.

Tuesday, June 3 – Because not every county clerk will be open on Sunday, June 1, couples that received licenses on Monday, June 2 can now get married.

As some clerks, especially in smaller counties, suggest reservations for getting marriage licenses, Equality Illinois advises couples to check with their local county clerk’s office first.

Illinoisans who have questions about the Religious Freedom and Marriage Act can turn to the Equality Illinois guide Marriage Rights in Illinois for helpful answers in a Q-and-A format. Also, if couples are searching for an officiant for their wedding ceremony, Equality Illinois has compiled a list of hundreds of clergy members from numerous denominations who are willing to officiate same-sex weddings. Both guides can be read and downloaded

June 1st can’t come fast enough! 

h/t: Equality Illinois

h/t:  Christian Walters at Towleroad

Image Credit: PROMO Missouri’s Facebook Page.

Glad to see St. Clair and Madison (my county) issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, with Jackson not too far behind.

CC: promomissouri 

That makes three counties in Illinois that legalize same-sex marriage: Cook, Champaign, and McLean. 
Who’s next? Rock Island, Kane, Lake, Madison, St. Clair, Jackson, Peoria?

h/t: Peoria Public Radio