Five Takeaways from Illinois’ Same-Sex Marriage Law

So we didn’t beat Hawaii, but yesterday Illinois became the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage. 

Here are five takeaways from the new law:

  • This was quite the battle: Even with Democratic majorities in the House, Senate, and Governor’s office, the bill stalled earlier in the year and passed by the narrow of margin: 61-54. (It needed 60 votes to pass.) 
  • Instead of leading, we followed: Despite being the most populous state in the Midwest and having the third largest city in the nation, we trailed Iowa and Minnesota in Midwestern states that allow marriage equality.
  •  June 1st is the Day:  Cook County Clerk David Orr said his office will be open on June 1st, 2014, a Sunday, to allow gay couples to obtain their marriage licenses.  The same goes for Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten. Madison County Clerk Debra Ming-Mendoza says she will issue licenses on June 2nd.
  •  We could get licenses sooner, but it’s not likely: Sen Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, has proposed a bill that could accelerate the effective date for gay marriage to earlier in 2014. However, the measure may have some trouble, as the later effective date was the tradeoff for passing the current law.
  •  Money, Money, Money: A 2013 study by UCLA’s The Williams Institute said that allowing same-sex couples to marry in Illinois would generate up to $103 million in new spending in the first three years.

Congrats again to Illinois. The battle rages on. Currently 10 states have legal actions pending. Stay tuned!