US: Same-sex marriage rolls out statewide across Illinois

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Same-sex marriage has today rolled out across the remainder of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Illinois Governor Pat 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 16 other counties following suit after the state’s Attorney General directed that they did not have to wait until the June 1.

However, the majority of Illinois’ 102 counties opted to wait until today to roll out marriage, with many couples also opting to wait until now so they could marry in their home county, or in their preferred venues.

Equality Illinois estimates that to date at least 1,300 same-sex marriage licenses have been issued across the 16 counties, a figure expected to increase following the state-wide rollout.

Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov said: “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.”