Illinois Marriage Fairness Act in Effect, Evansville Couple to Tie Knot

Published 06/01 2014 09:54PM

Updated 06/01 2014 10:39PM

Hanging in James' and Mark's living room is a painting that recreates Michelangelo's 'The Creation of Adam.' The original can be found at the Sistine Chapel.   
"That's ours we got it together," said same sex couple James Thompson and Mark Kemmerer in unison.

James and Mark are looking forward to starting their story not in a chapel, but in a park. With an ordained minister conducting the ceremony James and Mark will get married in front of friends and family in Mount Carmel, Illinois later this week.

"Our friends and family will know that we are together," said Mark. "And we are one," followed James. "That we have the intention of being together. That we have the intention of staying together," said Mark. "And growing old," added James.

The new law gives everyone in Illinois equal access to the benefits and protections of marriage. But because James and Mark live in Evansville they will not see any of those benefits. "We will profit in no way at all on us getting married from the state of Indiana. We're not seeking to be on each others insurance. We're not doing anything like that," said Mark.

Mounted around their living room are pictures of family members who have passed on and will not be able to witness their union.
Ideally they would like to get married in Indiana, but instead James and Mark will go to the Land of Lincoln to tie the knot.

"We decided that we're going to go over to Illinois and do it. Just to make a statement that if our own state that we live in and pay our taxes won't support us that we can go other places and do what we wish to do," said Mark.

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