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Illinois Makes Same-Sex Marriage Official, Businesses Prepare for Wedding Boom

Categories: LGBT

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Laura Dye on Flickr
Missouri's neighbor Illinois officially became the sixteenth state to approve same-sex marriage on Wednesday, when Governor Pat Quinn signed the historic bill into law.

The new rules won't go into effect until June 1, giving gay couples time, as Democratic Lieutenant Governor Shelia Simon put it, "to stop planning rallies and start planning weddings."

See also: Illinois House Approves Same-Sex Marriage

The change could mean St. Louis couples traveling to Illinois for marriage trips, and Illinois is getting ready for the tourism dollars to start rolling in. A 2013 UCLA study says allowing same-sex marriage in Illinois could bring in $103 million in new spending in the first three years, according to NBC Chicago.

The state has already updated its website to promote gay-friendly venues and events in Illinois.

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Rippon Kinsella House
Roger Schmitz
Roger Schmitz, proprietor at the Rippon Kinsella House bed and breakfast in Springfield, says he expects to get some calls from Missouri gay couples who want to make their union legal, even though Missouri's constitution forbids it.

He's already hosted unofficial wedding ceremonies for Missouri couples at his B&B.

"They just wanted to do it to make a statement," he says.

That's not why Schmitz wants to get married. After 37 years together, Schmitz and his boyfriend can't fully legally protect their assets from their families, despite having a clear, detailed will. But if they get married this summer, they'll be protected under spousal privilege.

"In my business, almost everybody is gay-friendly," Schmitz says. "They don't care. They're educated. We pay our taxes, and we want to be left alone."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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13 comments
Dawn Turnbeaugh
Dawn Turnbeaugh

Collinsville World's Largest Catsup bottle, Cahokia Courthouse ( built in 1730), Gateway Raceway, Fairmont Park, Casino Queen, Archway Skydiving Center, Bretz Wildlife Lodge & Winery. Cheers, D-Tini

Jen West
Jen West

Wilson Park in Granite City? I haven't been there in 8+ years but it was gorgeous then.

Abby Hupp
Abby Hupp

"Any gays"??? Seriously? Was "same sex couples" too many characters? I'm not a fan of PC stuff and I'm not a homosexual, but that just came across as offensive as hell.

Michael Mahler
Michael Mahler

We are missing out on revenue here in Missouri. Legalize it.

Alex Peck
Alex Peck

The biggest victory of the week for the bears!

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

Good place for them to congregate..the Chicagoans need someone with money to rob

Chris Ferguson
Chris Ferguson

I will undercut Stephen! Let the gay marriage price war commence!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

maybe the state will throw in a bus tour of where all the murders in chicago happened last weekend.

Stephen Siwinski
Stephen Siwinski

Shameless Self Promotion: I perform weddings... really awesome ones. Anyone looking to take the plunge in Illinois, please don't hesitate to get ahold of me- I'd love to be a part of your "big day"... and a part of HISTORY! www.stephensiwinski.com

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