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Local Reaction to Marriage Equality Bill
CHAMPAIGN-- "I always figured that it was going to happen soon. It's one of those things. No matter how many people want to fight it, you know it's going to happen."
Families across Illinois are celebrating Wednesday after Springfield voted to legalize same-sex marriages. Daphne Scott-Henderson, her partner, and their family were excited. "I was actually at work and received a text from Ryan that the bill had passed and I was like, 'Oh my god!' in the middle of the hospital ward where I work. It was very exciting, very exciting."
Marriage licenses will be available to same-sex couples starting June 1, 2014. People have already been contacting Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten's office for information. "A lot of excitement now and unfortunately we're just gonna have to wait I think. Our procedures here in the county clerk's office are going to be exactly the same for same sex couples as they have been for marriages for some time, so it will be nearly the same application, same ID requirements, same procedures, and right now we'll just have to wait until June first."
Existing civil unions can be converted to marriages simply filling out an application. The clerk's office already has plans to make sure same-sex couples can get their licenses as soon as possible. Hulten says, "June first is actually a Sunday so I imagine we'll be open at some point that Sunday to issue licenses on that Sunday so that folks who want to get a same-sex marriage on the first possible day, June 2nd, will be able to do so without having to wait the extra day."
For those families directly affected by the new law, it's a welcome sigh of relief. Ryan Cannon-Scott says, "We don't have to do all this extra stuff, and take all these extra precautions. We can follow the same process that everyone else follows with the same expectation that everyone else has when we get married and start a family. And that's a big deal."
Adam Rife reporting