Bill that would remove gendered language from marriage certificates advances to Illinois House

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FILE – In this May 21, 2015 file photo, Mauro Cioffari, left, puts a wedding ring on his partner Davide Conti’s finger as their civil union is being registered by a municipality officer during a ceremony in Rome’s Campidoglio Capitol Hill. Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday, Oct. 21 2020 at the Rome Film Festival. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, file)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Senate approved a measure that would remove gendered language from marriage certificates.

The proposal was brought up ‘in a effort to modernize’ marriage certificates by Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).

“Gendered language on marriage certificates is an outdated requirement,” said Feigenholtz. “Forcing someone to choose between binary terms like bride and groom may not be relevant for all couples. This new practice will reflect the full flexibility of marriage under the law.”

Senate Bill 139 will change terms such as “bride” and “groom” to gender-neutral alternatives like “spouse.” Married couples will also be able to request a new certificate from their county clerk’s office.

“A marriage certificate is the legal embodiment of one the most significant days of a person’s life, and the language used on it should reflect their true selves,” Feigenholtz said.

The bill will now advance to the Illinois House of Representatives.

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