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LGBTQ advocates celebrate two Illinois marriage certificate modernization bills

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Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed two marriage certificate modernization bills on Tuesday, July 27.

SB 139 requires a county clerk to issue a new marriage certificate when an individual requests a correction to the gendered language on a marriage certificate, such as “bride” or “groom.” Additionally, a couple can remove the gendered language altogether, in which case “spouse” would appear on the marriage certificate.

With HB 2590, a county clerk must issue a new marriage certificate with the new legal name on it if one of the parties to the marriage shows a legal name change order. This standard in HB 2590 is the same standard for making legal name changes on birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses.

Both are sponsored by State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago). SB 139 is an initiative of the Cook County Clerk’s Office. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House and Social Service Agency. They both passed the Illinois General Assembly this spring with bipartisan support.

The TransLife Care Program at Chicago House and Social Service Agency and Equality Illinois were contacted by several couples who encountered roadblocks from county clerks to modernizing their legal names and the gendered language on their marriage certificates.

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