Clerk Yarbrough Weds the First Same-Sex Couple to Ever Win the Annual Contest
A Lakeview couple who endured an extended quarantine throughout the pandemic due to a cancer diagnosis and an upcoming stem cell transplant procedure were the first couple to be officially married in Cook County in a Zoom wedding ceremony conducted Monday by Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough.
Jake Harris, 28, and Justin Luna, 29, are also the first same-sex couple to be selected to receive the first marriage license of the year from the Cook County Clerk’s Office. The pair have been dating for seven years and Harris had been planning to propose to Luna on New Year’s Eve when he received the email from the Clerk’s Office notifying the couple that they had won the lottery drawing to receive the first license.
“When I received the email notifying us that we had won, I was dumbstruck,” said Harris. “I broke the news to Justin by showing him the email and he asked if it was real. I replied, ‘If you want it to be,’ and he said Yes!”
Luna was diagnosed with leukemia in November of 2019 and has been undergoing chemotherapy treatment since that time. He is scheduled to receive a stem cell transplant in the next two weeks through a donation that is being provided by his mother.
“We have been going through tough and uncertain times, especially with the upcoming transplant, and I wanted to properly celebrate Justin for the amazing person he is,” said Harris. “I wanted him and the whole world to know that he is loved.”
In addition to being married by Clerk Yarbrough, the couple received gifts from several of the Chicago-area’s signature establishments. The gifts include:
- A Newlywed Gourmet Dinner Gift Box including Filet Mignon, Strip Steaks and Lobster Tails provided by Whittingham Meats
- A sparkling wine basket and champagne flutes provided by Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
- A Gift Card provided by Eli’s Cheesecake
- A Virtual Wedding Dance Lesson provided by Duet Dance Studio
- A Virtual cooking lesson provided by The Chopping Block
- Wedding flower arrangements provided by LaSalle Flower Group
- A download of the latest party pack of digital games from Jackbox Games
- Two tickets to a comedy show provided by the Laugh Factory Chicago
Clerk Yarbrough also waived the $60 marriage license fee and provided the couple with a free Commemorative Certificate compliments of the Cook County Clerk’s Office. To see the full video of Clerk Yarbrough officiating the first marriage of 2022, please visit the Clerk’s YouTube page.