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First Marriages Take Place in Chicago, Cook County

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The first same-sex couples was married in Cook County, Illinois yesterday, just hours after a federal judge ruled that gay couples could start marrying immediately. 

WLS-TV explains how the very first gay couple to marry made their decision:

Charlie Gurion, 25, saw that U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Friday morning that there was no reason for same-sex couples to wait for marriage until June, which is when an Illinois law goes into effect making gay marriage legal. So he called his partner, David Wilk, 30, at work, and talked him into heading the courthouse. The two have been together for three and half years.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman's ruling was announced late Friday morning, drawing 46 gay couples to the lower level of the Daley Center to get a marriage license. Thanks to a waiver from a judge, Cook County Clerk David Orr even married a couple Friday, giving them red roses to celebrate.

Orr said the office looks forward to long lines but he was not sure how many to expect. Extra staff will be brought in to cover the longer hours today.

Marriage licenses take effect the next calender day and are valid for 60 days.  “Don’t rush to get your license if you have a summer wedding planned because you don’t want the license to expire before your big day,” Orr cautioned.

The $60 license fee will be waived for any couple who already has an Illinois civil union license. Couples who wish to convert their prior civil union date to a marriage will have to wait until June 1 because it was not addressed in Coleman’s order, Orr said.

Only the downtown Chicago office issued same-sex marriage licenses yesterday. According to the Tribune, "all offices will begin issuing licenses on Monday."


Gay Couples Can Marry Right Now in Chicago, Cook County

IllinoisA federal judge in Chicago ruled on Friday that gay couples do not have to wait until June to marry in Cook County, the Chicago Tribune reports:

"There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry,” U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman stated.

Her ruling noted that Cook County Clerk David Orr filed a brief in support of the lawsuit, which argued that couples should not have to wait until the Illinois law went into effect on June 1.

Orr released a statement after the ruling saying he will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses "immediately."

The downtown Bureau of Vital Records, in the lower level of the Daley Center, will be open an extra two hours tonight until 7 p.m.for gay couples who want to get marriage licenses after work.


Chicago Congressional Candidate: Autism and Dementia are God's Punishment for Gay Rights

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Earlier this week we reported on a UK lawmaker who was suspended after claiming that floods were the result of the government's legalization of same-sex marriage.

Welcome to Chicago, where a Republican hopeful in a Congressional race for the 9th District feels the same way. Susanna Atanus, a twice-failed candidate for the office, gave her views in an interview with the Daily Herald:

"I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus's Republican opponent David Earl Williams III has views that are a bit more to the left.

Williams responded that AIDS is spread by unsafe sexual practices in all people, not just homosexuals, and said that as a veteran he was offended by her comments.

"I've served with people who were gay during, 'Don't ask, don't tell' and you aren't worrying about if someone is gay or not, you're worrying about if you're going to live the next day," Williams said.

Williams said he believes marriage should remain between a man and woman, but adds that the government should stay out of the marriage business and leave it up to churches.

Yet Williams has his own issues. He's a U.S. Navy veteran who won't say where he works because he hasn't told his employer he is running for Congress, and has a domestic violence order filed against him stemming from a long-distance relationship.

(via raw story)


Chicago Under the Polar Vortex: PHOTO

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By pilot Hank Cain (via twitter, where you can see the full size)


Chicago Cardinal George Asked if He'll Seek to Deny Communion to Governor Pat Quinn Over Gay Marriage

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Chicago Cardinal Francis George, who released a letter in church bulletins throughout the Chicago Archdiocese on Sunday condemning the state's same-sex marriage law, was asked if he'll seek to deny communion to three of Illinois' most prominent Catholic lawmakers, the Sun-Times reports:

Quinn“What’s the point of talking?” George told a Sun-Times reporter Sunday after Mass at St. Genevieve Parish, on the city’s West Side.

He made the comment after being asked specifically whether he would seek to deny communion to the trio of Chicago Democrats: Gov. Pat Quinn, who’s expected to sign the bill into law this week, as well as House Speaker Michael Madigan or Senate President John Cullerton.

Further commentary would be “creating a story of good guys and bad guys,” the cardinal said, adding that he feels his words are “sliced up without nuance.”

“So, I don’t see any point in talking,” George said.

Messages left with representatives of all three elected leaders were not immediately returned Sunday night.

George had said in his letter that the new law would " contribute over the long run to the further dissolution of marriage and family life, which are the bedrock of any society.”


Chicago's Cardinal George Attacks Illinois Same-Sex Marriage Bill in Church Bulletin: VIDEO

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Chicago's Cardinal Francis George is attacking the Illinois bill legalizing same-sex marriage in a letter he asked to be placed in all church bulletins throughout the Chicago Archdiocese, NBC Chicago reports:

"There will be consequences for the Church and society that will become clearer as the law is used to sue for discrimination," Cardinal George writes in a letter he asked to be placed in all church bulletins throughout the Chicago Archdiocese.

"The law has made some gays and lesbians happy, and that is not a bad thing in itself," George adds. "The law, however, is bad law because it will contribute over the long run to the further dissolution of marriage and family life, which are the bedrock of any society.”

NBC Chicago spoke with George about the letter and also about the plans by Springfield bishop Thomas John Paprocki to hold an exorcism as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signs the bill into law.

Says George: "Each bishop governs his own diocese as he sees fit..."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Chicago's Cardinal George Attacks Illinois Same-Sex Marriage Bill in Church Bulletin: VIDEO" »


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