Feigenholtz passes proposal allowing removal of gendered language from marriage certificates

SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to modernize marriage certificates, State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) has passed legislation through the Illinois Senate allowing marriage licenses to use non-gendered language.

“Gendered language on marriage certificates is an outdated requirement,” said Feigenholtz.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 allows married couples to request a new marriage certificate from the county clerk free of any gender identifying language. This includes changing terms like “bride” and “groom” to gender-neutral alternatives such as “spouse.”

“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 Illinois Senate approved the measure with bipartisan support. It will now be sent to the House of Representatives.