Even though same-sex couples can legally be married in June, Laura Hartman and Anne Dickey are waiting to have their wedding.
The State of Illinois was the 16th state to allow same-sex marriages last year. The law wasn’t supposed to take effect until June 1st, but following a ruling by a Cook County judge allowing same-sex couples to start getting their licenses, it has opened up the option for the rest of the state to follow suit.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn have both urged all county clerks to start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples throughout the state.
However for Laura Hartman and Anne Dickey, marriage not only means finalizing a relationship of almost nine years, it also means more money.
“Our understanding is that the IRS will let you refile your federal taxes for three years [if you were] married three years ago. So we’re holding out for the hopes that we can get a tax refund for the first three years we had a civil union but not a marriage,” said Dickey.
After three years of marriage, those tax returns add up to a lot of money.
“We’ve been told [we would get] two to three thousand dollars,” said Hartman.
Same-sex couples in Illinois have been able to enter into civil unions since 2011, but they still don’t carry all the perks of marriage.
Because same sex unions are not recognized in every state, Hartman and Dickey have had to bring all legal documents with them when they travel.
“We’ve had a really long engagement…I’m really excited because finally, the emotional and spiritual parts of getting married can meet the legal parts of getting married,” said Hartman.
The happy couple are hoping to set a date sometime in 2015 when their entire family can be present for a wedding on the beach.