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State Rep. Mell Marries Partner In Iowa

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Deborah Mell

Illinois State Rep. Deborah Mell (File Photo; Credit: CBS)

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (CBS) — The openly lesbian Illinois State Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago) has gotten married to her partner in Iowa.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, Mell, 43, fought for same-sex marriage in the Illinois House of Representatives, but had to settle for civil unions earlier this year.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

But Mell and Christin Baker, 36, her partner of seven years, decided to leave the state to get married in Iowa, where same-sex marriage is legal, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

Mell, the sister-in-law to ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and daughter of Ald. Richard Mell (33rd), married Baker before a judge in Davenport, Iowa, last week.

Baker serves as arts and humanities specialist at the YCMA of the U.S.A.

Now back in Chicago, Mell and Baker are planning an Episcopal mass as a blessing ceremony for their marriage, the Sun-Times reported. Legally, it cannot be a wedding in Illinois, but the Iowa marriage is recognized as a civil union under Illinois law, a Lambda Legal staff attorney told the Sun-Times.

Iowa legalized same-sex marriage in April 2009, as a result of a ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court.

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