Illinois Governor: We are now on the right side of history

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has released a statement celebrating the rollout of same-sex marriage, proclaiming the state is “now on right side of history”.

The Democrat said in a statement today: “All couples across Illinois can now receive the rights and protections under the sacred vow of marriage.

“The Land of Lincoln has always been a place to embrace all people and today we stand as an example for the rest of the nation.”

Quinn signed the state’s equal marriage bill into law in December, with the law set to take effect from June 1, today.

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

Clerks in Cook County began to perform same-sex marriages in March, with a total of 15 other counties following suit after the state’s Attorney General directed that they did not have to wait until the June 1.

However, December’s marriage bill has now come into effect, rolling out same-sex marriage into the state’s remaining 86 counties.

Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov said earlier: “This is an undeniably historic day. Today the freedom to marry finally takes effect across Illinois.

“This day couldn’t have come soon enough for many of the tens of thousands of couples we met across the state whose love and commitment deserves to be recognized as equal.”