Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-11-26
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sponsor
Center, chef host homeless dinner Center, chef host
homeless dinner
On Nov. 22, Q-Tea-Pie Chef Shiane Wilcoxen, in partnership with the Center ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Court gives immediate marriage equality in Cook County
View videos below
by Matt Simonette
2014-02-21

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

      More Photos


Forty-six LGBT couples rushed to Cook County Clerk David Orr's office Feb. 21 to get the first marriage licenses after a federal judge ruled earlier that day that same-sex couples would not have to wait until June 1 to be married.

Judge Sharon Coleman's ruling said the state's ban on gay marriages is unconstitutional, and that marriages for gay couples can begin immediately. Same-sex couples who had already been legally married in other states would have those marriages recognized immediately, the Clerk's Office said.

The ruling applies only in Cook County, where the initial lawsuits were filed. Residents of other Illinois counties would have to travel there to get their license and be married.

[Additional photos at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/photospreadthumbs.php .

The County Clerk's Office was kept open an extra two hours Feb. 21 and was prepared for the ruling. Shortly before 1 p.m, the first same-sex couple of the day had obtained their license. Chicagoans Charles Gurion and David Wilk heard about the ruling on the news and decided to go get the license.

"I only just heard about this and hour and a half ago, and convinced him an hour ago," Gurion said.

Sara and Carolyn Kujawa were the first female couple to obtain their license, which was also the result of a spontaneous decision; Sara learned of the ruling as she waited for Carolyn in their bank's parking lot. They had a civil union already but were excited about the ruling.

Holding their 15-month-old son, Ronan, Sara said, "We're a family, and we shouldn't have to call it something different."

Some couples drove from the far suburbs of Chicago—North, West and South—and one couple, Laura Meli and Marissa Meli, drove all the way from Champaign, where they are in law school. They have been together more than eight years, and Laura's mom was with them to get their license.

Another couple to be married that afternoon was Theresa and Mercedes Santos-Volpe, who were plaintiffs in lawsuits that ultimately led to the Feb. 21 ruling.

"These two have been suing me for years," joked Orr, whose office has not defended itself against suits filed on behalf of same-sex couples wishing to marry.

Judge James Snyder issued an order that allowed Theresa and Mercedes to be married immediately, without the requisite 24-hour waiting period. The ceremony was performed by Orr as the press watched.

"When we met one another, we didn't have the words for it, but we knew we wanted to be married," said Theresa. "When you meet somebody and you know they're truly your soulmate, you think, 'That's the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.'"

Christopher Clark of Lambda Legal said Theresa and Mercedes helped "set us on the path of marriage equality."

Chicagoans Jeff Woods and Tom Wray came in after work after hearing the news. They'd had a civil union ceremony last year during International Mister Leather. "In some ways, it's just a formality, but it's a formality we welcome," Woods said.

County Clerk officials by late afternoon were reminding couples in civil unions that if they chose to marry before June 1, they would not be able to have their marriage license date backdated to the day of their civil union.

"We've got so many anniversaries, it didn't matter to us," Woods said. "There's no legal reason for us to need it backdated."

The ruling was issued by Judge Sharon Coleman, who previously ruled that couples wherein partners were facing terminal illness could marry prior to the originally planned June start date.

Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal, one of the lawyers who argued the case, said, "Now, there will be no more delays. The court has decided on the side of equality and liberty."

Ed Yohnka of ACLU Illinois, added, "We're thrilled the judge has recognized the harm that was done by this delay. It's going to be a happy day, and a happy week ahead."

Both Taylor and Yohnka said they were hopeful the ruling would be applied in other counties as well.

Orr also said he hoped the other 101 county clerks would also honor this ruling, whether run by Democrats or Republicans.

"If were a lawyer advising other county clerks, I would tell them that this delay is inappropriate," Taylor said.

"We've had a federal judge rule that the ban in unconstitutional," added Yohnka.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement Feb. 21 praising the ruling.

"Today a federal judge affirmed that love does not discriminate and that all gays and lesbians in Cook County should have the right to marry," Emanuel said. "Chicago welcomes all couples to get married here to celebrate their love and to have the bonds of their family acknowledged under law. I look forward to the day where every American enjoys the same freedom to marry, and when our country can provide equal rights to every man or woman—gay or straight."

Gov. Pat Quinn also stated on Feb. 21, "Many couples in Illinois have waited long enough for marriage equality, and today's ruling means thousands of Illinois couples no longer have to wait. Our law is a victory for equal rights in America, and shows that citizens and lawmakers can come together on issues of fairness and human rights."

Information about obtaining a marriage license can be found at cookcountyclerk.com .

— Also contributing: Tracy Baim

See the ruling here: www.aclu-il.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/001-Class-Action-Complaint-for-Declaratory-and-Injunctive-Relief.pdf .

Videos below by Tracy Baim/Windy City Times

Windy City Times: Theresa & Mercedes Santos-Volpe get married in Illinois 2-21-2014 at the link: www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: Cook County Clerk David Orr issues marriage licenses 2-21-2014 at the link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 1: Chloe & Jenna www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 2: Evette and Mona www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 3: Emily and Lynn at the link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 4: Joe and Paul at the linkwww.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 5: Adiana and Elizabeth at the link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 6: Mike and Donn at the link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 7: Laura and Marissa at the link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 8: Ryan and Steven at the link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 9: Sean and Alfonzo at the

link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 10: Tim and Rich at the

link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 11: Miguel and Roger at the

link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 12: Greg and Chris at the

link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 13: Nat and Cynthia at the

link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 14: Tammy and Joanne at the link www.youtube.com/watch .

Windy City Times: 2-21-2014 Marriages at Cook County Clerk's office 14: Tammy and Joanne


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Federal Judge strikes down Mississippi marriage ban 2014-11-26
Winning Marriage book event, Library exhibit explores marriage 2014-11-24
UIC center celebrates two decades of existence 2014-11-24
National Women's Hall of Fame hosts forum on equality 2014-11-24
Study: Public support for LGBT rights up in last three decades 2014-11-24
The Voice's Michelle Chamuel to play Lincoln Hall 2014-11-24
U.S. Supreme Court clears way for SC same-sex marriage 2014-11-20
Federal judge: Montana's anti-equal marriage rule unconstitutional 2014-11-19
Marriage begins Thursday at noon in South Carolina 2014-11-19
Veteran killed; Perry disrupted; Collins honored 2014-11-19
ASK LAMBDA LEGAL Veterans' marriage benefits 2014-11-18
LETTER Lesbian and Gay Bar Association Pres to Gov.-elect Rauner 2014-11-17
PASSAGES Trans lesbian author Leslie Feinberg dies 2014-11-17
Lakeside Pride, Lea DeLaria and Artemis celebrate Women In Music 2014-11-17
Michigan says gay marriages void after appellate decision 2014-11-16
Roosevelt U. hosts Equality vs. Liberation forum 2014-11-15
Artemis Singers to present "Loves Lost, Loves Found" in 2015 2014-11-15
Court denies South Dakota's motion to dismiss marriage suit 2014-11-14
Lambda, ACLU ask Supreme Court to review Ohio marriage cases 2014-11-14
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame honors new inductees 2014-11-13
Federal Judge Strikes Down South Carolina Marriage Ban 2014-11-12
BUSINESS Calif. clothiers for masculine-identified opens pop-up store 2014-11-12
Eileen Myles reads from forthcoming dog memoir 2014-11-12
Marriage now allowed in Kansas; Elton's foundation's grants 2014-11-12
Artemis Singers: Celebrating 35 years of shows 2014-11-12
Report: Bisexuals face more discrimination than gays, lesbians 2014-11-11
Queer musicians Alber and Henderson in Chicago Nov. 14 2014-11-09
6th Circuit upholds marriage bans: Tenn., Ohio, Mich. and Ky. 2014-11-06
Lambda sues Social Security on behalf of gay Chicago widower 2014-11-06
Missouri marriage ban ruled unconstitutional 2014-11-06
NUNN ON ONE Lea Delaria talks 'Orange Is the New Black,' trans backlash 2014-11-05
Marriage Equality USA releases updated map 2014-11-05
LGBT races across nation: mixed results 2014-11-05
Crafty Broads makes weddings manageable 2014-11-05
BOOK REVIEW The Marriage Act: The Risk I Took... 2014-11-05
Photo book documents 1980s same-sex couples 2014-11-05
Celebrations: Weddings 2014-11-05
Hazing conviction; Barney lauds Cruz; Windsor's request 2014-11-04
Armatrading on final tour, at City Winery April 23-24 2014-11-04
Federal judge affirms the freedom to marry in Kansas 2014-11-04





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

LGBT activist Ouma on work, Tanzania and future hopes
 
Theater, dance, music news and events
 
Smithsonian Channel looks at origins of AIDS Dec. 1
 
Auto companies at top of equality index-but why Hyundai ?
 
Apartment Adoption Project starts for homeless Chicago youth
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.