Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn is expected to attend a same-sex marriage ceremony today at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
Same-sex marriage became legal throughout the entire state of Illinois yesterday. Although it was a Sunday, some county clerks’ offices opened to allow couples to get their licenses.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the church, Unity in Chicago located in Rogers Park, held a group wedding ceremony for 40 couples, same-sex and straight, Sunday evening.
David Viggiano, co-organizer of the event told the Tribune, “Now that we have gay marriage we need to push past labeling any marriages as gay, lesbian or straight and talk about marriage equality. Unity’s thought is that there is one God and many paths to that. One marriage, many paths to that.”
Governor Quinn issued a statement Sunday declaring, “All couples across Illinois can now receive the rights and protections under the sacred vow of marriage. The Land of Lincoln has always been a place to embrace all people and today we stand as an example for the rest of the nation.”
Couples already joined by civil unions can have them converted to marriages backdated to the start of the civil union or have a new marriage ceremony date issued.
The Illinois General Assembly voted Nov. 5, 2013 to legalize marriage between same-sex partners effective Jun 1, 2014, but some counties began issuing licenses in February after a Cook County judge allowed a terminally ill woman to marry her partner four months before the official start date. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan then left it up to each individual county clerk as to when they would begin issuing licenses. The group Equality Illinois estimates around 1,300 couples have already married since the February ruling.