Champaign County issued its first marriage license to a same-sex couple Wednesday, the second county in Illinois to do so. Laura and Marissa Meli are University of Illinois law students who've been a couple for eight years.
A judge ruled Friday that a statute banning same-sex marriage in the state was unconstitutional. The ruling only applied to Cook County. The county began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples the same day. After a review process with the Champaign County State’s Attorney… Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten says he decided that same-sex couples in his county can immediately seek marriage licenses, rather than waiting until a new law allowing them takes effect June 1:
“We determined for a number of reasons once the federal courts ruled that the state ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional in Cook County … that means it’s unconstitutional for the entire state. That the residents of Champaign County don’t have any fewer constitutional rights than those in Cook County… and that it would be a disservice to require same-sex couples in Champaign County to go through the litigation process.”
A number of other Illinois counties say they will wait on issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the new state law takes effect. UPDATE 2/26 5:47pm: Republican McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael says she hopes to be issuing licenses by the middle of next week.
It’s legal, if there’s an illness, to be granted a marriage license of same-sex, now. Why would it be delayed ‘till June First, when there are exceptions that are already being made?