Two more Illinois counties begin issuing gay marriage licences

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Two more counties in the US state of Illinois have said they will begin issuing same-sex marriage licences to same-sex couples.

The Attorney General in the US state of Illinois yesterday advised that all gay couples in the state now have the option to marry, despite the state’s same-sex marriage law doesn’t come into effect until June.

Now St Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook and Cass County Clerk Michael Kirchner have said they will immediately start

Despite marriage licences only being available to gay people for a week in Cook County, as of yesterday already 258 couples had applied to marry there.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the state’s equal marriage bill into law in December, however same-sex weddings were technically only set to take place from June 1, 2014 when the law takes effect.

Despite the 1 June start date, a Chicago federal judge last month ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying was unconstitutional, opening the door for some couples to marry immediately.

As well as Cook County, a second – Champaign – also begun issuing licences, as County Clerk Gordy Hulten said if the ban “is unconstitutional in Cook County, it’s unconstitutional in Champaign County.”

Some counties have said they would rather wait until the 1 June deadline, in order to not open themselves up to the possibility of lawsuits against them.