Vendors ready to cash in on same-sex marriage

Published 11/07 2013 09:41PM

Updated 11/08 2013 10:46AM

SPRINGFIELD -- A study projects same-sex marriage will pump $75 million into the wedding industry in Illinois over the next three years. Vendors statewide say they are ready to start booking same-sex weddings. 

An area bakery already had 175 weddings booked for next year before same-sex marriage was passed. Now that number is expected to grow.

Tammy Mullins, owner of Specialty Cakes, says she has already made 50 - 60 civil union cakes, and expects to see a demand for same sex marriage cakes. But not all vendors are excited about the change. 

Some are worried their religious freedoms may be compromised. The same-sex marriage bill protects churches and ministers from performing the ceremonies if they don't wish to, but the bill doesn't spell out protections for vendors who choose not to provide services for the ceremonies because of personal beliefs. 

Critics of the law say those issues may have to be sorted out in court.

The bill legalizes same-sex marriage starting June 1, 2014. But a move in Springfield may mean an earlier start date. A state senator has filed a bill seeking an earlier effective date for the law. It could get a vote when lawmakers officially return to Springfield after the first of the year.

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