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Illinois

Cook County, Ill., issues more than 80 marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
M. Spencer Green, APCharlie Gurion, center, and David Wilk hold up their marriage license as Cook County Clerk David Orr, left looks on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Chicago.

M. Spencer Green, AP
Charlie Gurion, center, and David Wilk hold up their marriage license as Cook County Clerk David Orr, left looks on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Chicago.

CHICAGO — More than 80 same-sex couples have gotten marriage licenses in Cook County, including some from other Illinois counties who apparently didn’t want to wait until gay marriage becomes legal statewide on June 1.

Cook County Clerk David Orr began issuing licenses on Friday after a federal judge ruled that Illinois’ original ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional so there was nothing to stop couples from marrying now.

But U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said the ruling applied only to Cook County, where Chicago is located, because the suit was filed against Orr. He is a longtime supporter of gay marriage who was barred from issuing the licenses until now.

Most licenses were issued to Chicago residents, although couples from Champaign, DuPage, Lake, Will and Winnebago counties also came to Cook County for licenses. Couples from Indiana and Wisconsin also received licenses.

Some coupl es who received licenses have already been married by a judge.

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Marriages must take place in Cook County within 60 days after the licenses are issued.

Both partners in the oldest couple to get a license were 80 years old, Orr’s office said.

Supporters of gay marriage said the ruling could be a signal to clerks in other counties that they also should start issuing licenses now, but some clerks said they’ll seek legal advice first.

Gov. Pat Quinn, who signed the marriage law in November, has said he doesn’t think same-sex couples should have to wait until June.

Illinois’ first same-sex couple to wed – Vernita Gray and her partner of five years, Patricia Ewert – did so in late November after an expedited marriage license was granted because Gray was terminally ill with cancer.

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21 more reader comments:

  1. Congratulations, we are going to get married soon too!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:49pm
  2. Congrats!!!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:50pm
  3. Marvellous - I wish you every happiness

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:53pm
  4. Congrats! Wishing you lots of love and happiness to you and your future husband! <3

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:22pm
  5. HELL YEA!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:50pm
  6. Congrats to them all!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:50pm
  7. Congrats to the Illinois legislature for doing the right thing and enacting same sex marriage via the legislative process.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:53pm
  8. Brill

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:53pm
  9. Yay we just got ours today right Amanda McGehee

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:56pm
  10. I want to go there and marry my girl !!! I’m from Michigan anyone have any idea if it would work?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:57pm
  11. I am from Ohio and I was told they will not give out marriage licenses if you are from a state that does not allow same sex marriage. :(

    Replied on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:10pm
  12. Yayyyyy

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:57pm
  13. LOVE my hometown! <3

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:59pm
  14. Let tied the knots

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 4:59pm
  15. wonder how true that is being our friends did it in cook co and others went to iowa but live here and others went to canada but live here….. hmmmm

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:12pm
  16. Thank god!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:27pm
  17. I seen there were people from Indiana too that did….hmmm anyone have a for sure defiant answer?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:30pm
  18. maybe all. gay people move.here. make up gay laws gay housing just move here if your gay

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:35pm
  19. Congrats Illinois and god bless!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:43pm
  20. hell yeah!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 5:57pm
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    Posted on Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 6:07pm