6 Questions (And Answers) About Illinois' New Same-Sex Marriage Law
Same-sex marriage is officially the law of the land in Illinois.
Laura Dye on Flickr
If you're thinking of crossing the river to tie the knot, you probably have questions. Equality Illinois, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, will be hosting Q&A forums throughout December. (See dates below.)
Until then, here are six common questions about gay marriage in Illinois and their answers, via Equality Illinois:
1. When can I get married in Illinois?
Illinois will recognize same-sex marriages starting June 1, 2014.
2. What if I'm already married? Do I have to get an Illinois marriage license?
No. Unless your marriage is common law, a marriage certificate from out of state is recognized by Illinois.
3. Where do we get a marriage license?
At the county clerk's office. Find a list of them on the Illinois elections website. In most counties, the license costs $30.
4. Can a county clerk refuse to issue a marriage license because he or she objects to our relationship?
No. They have to follow the law.
5. Can I get married if I am already in a civil union?
Assuming you are marrying the person in your civil union, then the answer is yes. For the first year, you can "upgrade" your civil union to a full-blown marriage for free in Illinois simply by following the same steps as any other couple.
6. Does a church or clergy member have to solemnize my marriage?
No. Your marriage may be certified by a religious official in good standing, a judge or a public official whose powers include the solemnization of marriage.
To ask more questions about gay marriage in Illinois, come to one of these forums:
- Dec. 3, 6 p.m., Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church, 2200 Ridge Ave., Aurora
- Dec. 4, 6 p.m., Countryside Unitarian Universalist Church, 1025 N. Smith St., Palatine
- Dec. 9, 6 p.m., St. John's Lutheran Church, 4501 Seventh Ave., Rock Island
- Dec. 10, 6 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church, 4848 Turner St., Rockford
- Dec. 10, 6:30 p.m., Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago
- Dec. 11, 6 p.m., Champaign Public Library, Robeson Pavilion Room C, 200 W. Green St., Champaign
- Dec. 12, 6 p.m., Church of the Good Shepherd, 515 S. Orchard Drive, Carbondale
- Dec. 12, 6 p.m., Phoenix Center, 109 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield
- Dec. 17, 6:30 p.m., Southwestern Illinois College, Room 2106 Liberal Arts Building, 2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville
- Jan. 14, 2014, 6 p.m., Bloomington Police Department, Osborn Room, 305 S. East St., Bloomington