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Issues

Supportive Clergy Who Perform Marriages

The Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act passed the Illinois General Assembly in 2013, and Gov. Quinn signed the bill into law on November 20, 2013, and the act went into effect on June 1, 2014.

Many faith leaders and religious institutions are welcoming to same-sex couples and are willing to perform marriages and civil unions. Also, no religious ceremony is required to perform a marriage; a marriage ceremony can be performed by a sitting or retired judge or by the Cook County Clerk, and some of the religious officiants may perform a non-religious ceremony. No clergy member or faith institution is obligated under law to perform a marriage or civil union ceremony.

LGBT Friendly Officiants Cover V2As part of EQIL’s ongoing mission to identify welcoming congregations and build stronger relationships with communities of faith who share our interest in issues of justice and fairness, we put together these listings of clergy who are willing to perform these marriage and civil union ceremonies, either in their institution or another venue of your choosing.

Please keep the following in mind when looking through this list and making a choice:

–Some communities of faith may only perform ceremonies for members of their congregation; this may involve becoming a member of that community.
–Some communities of faith may require pre-ceremony counseling; many times this is similar to a class or brief set of courses, typically to prepare a couple for living life as a couple, or to educate the couple in that particular faith.
–Some communities of faith may not be able to perform an interfaith ceremony, and may require that both partners be of the same faith.
–Some communities of faith may charge a fee for the use of their sanctuary, musicians, clergy, etc.
–Some communities of faith may be willing to perform your ceremony, but may not be able to perform it in their house of worship, according to their community’s rules. You may have to elect to have the ceremony at an off-site venue.
–Some communities of faith do not have a regular house of worship but will happily perform the ceremony.

We strongly urge you to contact the clergy member or place of worship FIRST and get all the details before making your final choice.

We, at Equality Illinois would like to congratulate you and your partner on your upcoming marriage and, as always, we promise to continue the battle for equality for all citizens of Illinois.