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Cook County, Ill., offering wallet-sized civil union, marriage certificates

By Tony Merevick| Chicago Phoenix
Saturday, January 12, 2013

Same-sex couples in Illinois now have an easier way to prove their civil union.

Cook County Clerk David Orr unveiled wallet-sized civil union and marriage licenses Thursday, designed specifically for same-sex couples in a civil union or married couples with different last names.

Image courtesy Cook County Clerk.

“Couples are routinely asked to prove they are married or in a civil union, whether it’s at the bank, the gym, the hospital, or the car rental counter,” Orr said in a statement. “This will help couples who want a handy certificate to carry when they travel or need documentation of their marriage or civil union. Our wallet certificate means you always have proof in your pocket.”

For $15, couples can purchase a set of two wallet-sized certificates with their names and license numbers bearing Orr’s signature and embossed with the Cook County seal.

The certificates are available at any of the Cook County Clerk’s Bureau of Vital Records locations, with same day availability at the Loop location at 50 W. Washington St.

In addition, Orr said that while the smaller certificates have only been available for a short time, they are already in high demand.

Over 3,021 civil unions have been issued in Cook County, according to a recent survey conducted by The Civil Rights Agenda, a Chicag0-based LGBT rights and advocacy group.

© Chicago Phoenix. Reprinted by permission.

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9 more reader comments:

  1. This may make sense in today’s world but I can’t wait for the day that it no longer does. Papers please…….

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:32am
  2. Civil unions are NOT the same as marriage!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:34am
  3. If only the straight people had to carry them…

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:38am
  4. Brilliant! So much of the info needed for important things like voter cards and ID are wallet-size.

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:42am
  5. Civil Unions are unconstitutional. Gays, lesbians and bi-sexuals all have the right to be treated the same as heterosexuals under the law and in general. Hopefully, the U.S supreme court will rule that banning same-sex marriages are unconstitutional.

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:44am
  6. Hopefully in June the Supreme Court will hand down a sweeping ruling on the Prop 8 case, legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 11:57am
  7. i think straight couples should have them as well…..i’m sure, that some have been questioned….especially at hospitals and such.

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 12:34pm
  8. This is a smart idea. Even for straight marrieds, especially if they don’t share the same last name!

    Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 1:15pm
  9. If you’re vacationing in Florida and one of you goes into the hospital, will hospital workers in Florida (or another state without civil unions or gay marriage) allow you to see your loved one? Probably not. Be interesting to see if this card changes the game a bit, or is believed to be fake by those out-of-state.

    Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 7:14am