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Ald. James Cappleman Headed To Washington State to Marry Longtime Partner

By Adeshina Emmanuel | October 8, 2013 7:39pm | Updated on October 8, 2013 8:50pm
 Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
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DNAinfo/Adeshina Emmanuel

UPTOWN — Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said he's heading to Washington state next month to get hitched to longtime partner Richard Thale.

Cappleman, 60, tweeted Tuesday night: "Told CLTV that Richard and I are getting married next month in Wash state. We need the federal protections and don't want to risk the wait."

Later Tuesday, Cappleman tweeted DNAinfo.com Chicago that "I have 6 siblings who live on the West Coast. Had the union in IL and the marriage will be in Seattle."

Thale, 57, is the chair of the Town Hall Police District’s Court Advocacy Committee, and a CAPS beat facilitator for Beat 1914. He also serves on the board of the Uptown Chicago Commission, a community organization of which Cappleman is the former president.

The couple, who entered a civil union in September 2012, have been together more than 20 years.

But the Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union says that "couples who have a civil union will not have any of the protections or responsibilities federal law provides to married couples."

"These include social security survivors’ and spousal benefits, federal veterans’ spousal benefits, immigration rights associated with marriage, federal spousal employment benefits, the right to file joint federal tax returns, exemptions from income tax on your partner’s health benefits, the federal exemption from inheritance tax," according to the ACLU.

Supporters of same-sex marriage scored big victories in 2013 at the state level and in the Supreme Court, which ruled that married same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits.

One of the latest states to legalize gay marriage was Minnesota, where officials are urging Chicagoans to come get hitched while a gay marriage bill sits stalled in the Illinois legislature.

An estimated 30 percent of the U.S. population lives in 13 states (plus the District of Columbia) where same-sex couples can marry.