Sunday was the legal start of gay marriage in Illinois, but only a few of the 102 county clerks statewide opened to issue the documents because the day fell on a weekend.
Rep. Greg Harris says when civil unions became law, it was described as the first step as a very long journey toward legal marriage. That has changed.
Bernard Cherkasov, chief executive of the gay-rights group Equality Illinois, says the election results showed same-sex marriage winning in four states.
The federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, some federal benefits aren’t afforded.
A new portion of the state’s tourism website has collected information about gay-friendly lodging and attractions, as well as links to information about pride festivals.
“We prayed about it, talked about it. Sometimes you have to take a stand, and sometimes (it’s) hard,” said Mark Zartman, 51.
The state is trying to cancel contracts totaling more than $30 million with the group Catholic Charities because it’s refusing to recognize Illinois’ new civil unions law.
The organization wants to sue Illinois over gay couple foster-care issue.
Catholic Charities would not comply with the civil union acts, and therefore will lose state funding.
1,618 civil union licenses were issued across the state in June – the first month civil unions became available to Illinois couples.