01
Jun
11

official opinions: Spread the love – same sex union legalized in Illinois

The definition of marriage just got a whole lot bigger for all of us here in Chicago.  June 1st will be the first time that same-sex couples are allowed to get civil unions in the state of Illinois.  The bill passing this historic law was signed on January 31st of this year, but will not go into effect until this coming Wednesday.

To celebrate this major victory for their community, the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations’ Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues (LGBT) is planning a large scale ceremony in Millennium Park.  On Thursday June 2nd, a total of 30 same-sex couples will be legally wed in front of friends, family and fellow Chicagoans.

The 10am ceremony promises to be well-attended.  Even big name politicians, most notably Governor Quinn of Illinois and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, are stopping by to enjoy the celebration.  Though the bill actually goes into effect the day before, the law requires that couples obtain their civil union license at least 24 hours before having a ceremony.  Some eager couples have already announced plans to marry at 12:01 on June 2nd.  So although it will not be the city’s first same-sex ceremony, Thursday’s event will certainly be the biggest!  The 30 couples have already been chosen.  The lucky few selected will have their ceremony officiated by Cook County Clerk David Orr with music provided by a Stitely Entertainment string quartet.

Best of all, they will walk away with the benefits of a married couple.  From tax breaks to insurance deals, same-sex couples will get to enjoy the perks of legal marriage; however, the term “civil union” is used as opposed to the traditional moniker “marriage.”  The major difference is the fact that homosexual unions are not supported by federal law.  This means that some states will not recognize the pairs as a couple and cannot be forced to provide the same benefits that a state such as Illinois can provide.

Such a historic event could not come at a more convenient time.  June is “pride month,” an entire month dedicated to showcasing the many facets of gay life.   From the fantastically flamboyant to the serious and subtle, everything will be displayed with, well, pride!  Planned events include workshops, sketch comedy routines, cocktail receptions, picnics, panels, book discussions and much, much more.

The last Sunday in June is national Gay Pride Day.  This year it falls on the 26th, when the city of Chicago is putting on their infamous gay pride parade. If you have never gone, you should definitely check it out- it’s quite a time. But no matter what your orientation, if you’re in the city this summer you should try and make at least a few of these great (and mostly free) events!

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Delivering a mind-blowing musical performance at an event is an art and planning it is a science. Stitely Entertainment has mastered both by planning and executing thousands of events.

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