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As Illinois Rolls Out Same-Sex Marriage, Edwardsville Couple To Take Advantage

/ Susan Schultz

Same-sex couples in Illinois will be lining up to receive marriage licenses Monday after marriage between couples who are the same gender officially became legal across the state Sunday.  

The marriage-equality bill that passed in 2013 went into effect June 1, although a judge’s ruling prompted a handful of counties to issue marriage licenses earlier than that.

One couple planning to take immediate advantage of the new law is Susan Schultz and Debbie Dial of Edwardsville. They were granted a civil union in September, when same-sex marriage legislation was still up in the air, but Schultz says it doesn’t provide all the rights the couple wants.

“A civil union is good but it’s not good enough,” Schultz said. “Now that it will be a marriage, our union will be recognized by the federal government. We can file joint taxes if we choose. We’re more protected if we travel."        

Schultz and Dial met at a fundraiser and, after they began dating, decided they were right for each other. Schultz says the “upgrade” to marriage will give her great satisfaction.

“I won’t feel the need to correct myself. I can say I’m married; I don’t have to say it’s a civil union,” Schultz says. “I can introduce her as my wife. And it’s just a joy to be able to do that.”

Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday issued a statement saying the law put Illinois on the right side of history.

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This report contains information gathered with the help of our Public Insight Network. To learn more about the network and how you can become a source, please click here.