Same Sex Evansville Couple Applies for Marriage License in Illinois

Published 06/02 2014 06:14PM

Updated 06/02 2014 06:35PM

James Thompson and Mark Kemmerer walk into the the Wabash County Clerk's Office as nervous as any couple applying for a marriage license. The only difference is they are one of the first same sex couples to apply in Wabash County.

After a few tense minutes of tedious paperwork and formalities there is relief. "Here we have your license," says the Wabash County Clerk.

It may seem like a piece of paper with fancy print to anyone else, but to James and Mark it signifies much more. "That we are one. That we are finally a family. We're just not considered best friends, but we're considered an actual family," said Thompson.

James and Mark are recognized as a family in Illinois, but not in Indiana where the two have spent their entire lives. Which gives today a bittersweet feeling. "Happy. Happy that we could come over here. Happy that Illinois recognizes people want to live their life the way they want to live it. Sad that Evansville, that Indiana won't," said Kemmerer.

James and Mark weren't the only same sex couple to apply for a marriage license today in Illinois, three other couples applied in Wabash County. However clerk's in Saline, Edwards, White, and Gallatin Counties reported zero marriage license applications from same sex couples.

After applying for a marriage license James and Mark decide on a location for their wedding in Mount Carmel on Friday. They will not be receiving the benefits and protections that come with a being married because they live in Evansville. But still they want to share their vows in front of friends and family and set an example for any other same sex couple thinking of doing the same. "If you believe in something stick with it fight for what you believe in and eventually it will happen," said Kemmerer.

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