Same-sex couples in Illinois are now able to get marriage licenses. Federal court rulings late last year allowed some couples in several counties to get married early - if one person in the relationship was terminally ill.
Same-sex couples in DeKalb County don't have to wait until June 1st to get a marriage license. That was the decision approved by a judge today, and means couples can begin applying for licenses immediately.
Marissa Meli, 28, and Laura Meli, 27, have been in a relationship for more than eight years, and on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 became the first same-sex couple outside of Cook County to get a marriage license.
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.
Governor Pat Quinn took many pens in hand this afternoon and signed the same-sex marriage bill into law. The signing ceremony was held at the University of Illinois - Chicago Forum, on a desk brought up from Springfield. That desk is said to have been used by President Abraham Lincoln to write his first inaugural address.
Later today, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is set to sign a bill legalizing gay marriage.
Illinois will be the sixteenth state in the U.S. to allow same-sex marriages.
Now, the new reality of gay marriage in Illinois is prompting both hope - and concern - for the future.
When Bill Kelley first moved here from Missouri as a teenager, Illinois was a very different place for gay men like him. Kelley was around when Illinois became the first state to repeal its anti-sodomy laws a couple years later.
Illinois will be the 15th state to legalize same-sex marriage, after the state House and Senate approved legislation (SB10) today. Governor Pat Quinn says he will sign it into law, and same-sex couples can marry starting next June.