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Chi. Suburb Plans Civil Unions Event

Chi. Suburb Plans Civil Unions Event

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Plans are under way for a celebration of multiple civil unions in Bolingbrook, a southwest suburb of Chicago, when the Illinois civil unions law becomes effective at the beginning of June.

A wedding planner is offering "Dream Gay Weddings" at the upscale Bolingbrook Golf Club (pictured), with six officiants available to perform ceremonies, and the local office of the DuPage County Clerk is seeking to extend its hours to meet the expected demand for civil union licenses when they become available June 1, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Wedding planner Cheryl Hooten said Bolingbrook officials contacted her about organizing a special civil unions event, and she hopes to attract as many as 60 couples. Ceremonies at the golf club will begin at midnight June 2, the earliest time possible, as there is a one-day waiting period after applying for the license. The Bolingbrook county clerk's office is seeking county approval to stay open late June 1.

Hooten's $1,400-per-couple fee includes flowers, photography, cake, a champagne toast, and dinner for the couple. Couples can invite up to 250 guests. "We want to give couples a better alternative to standing in line at the courthouse," she told the Tribune. While the state law makes civil unions available to straight couples as well as gay ones, the Bolingbrook event is designed especially for same-sex unions.

The event will likely be "very good for the local economy," said township supervisor Bill Mayer. Randy Farber, food and beverage director for the golf club, said the club is "honored" to host the ceremonies and will treat them "like any other wedding."

As previously announced, another mass civil unions event will be held at the Chicago History Museum June 3. Read about it here.

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