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258 gay couples get Cook County marriage licenses

Published: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 11:23 a.m. CDT
Caption
(M. Spencer Green)
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. Same-sex couples in Illinois' largest county began receiving marriage licenses immediately after a federal judge's ruling Friday that some attorneys said could give county clerks statewide justification to also issue the documents right away. Illinois approved same-sex marriage last year; the new law takes effect June 1. However, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Friday that same-sex marriages can begin now in Cook County, where Chicago is located. Gurion and Will were the first couple to show up to get a license after the judge made her ruling. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

CHICAGO – Cook County issued 258 marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the first week it was allowed to do so by a court ruling.

A state law legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect June 1. But a federal judge in Chicago ruled Feb. 21 that Illinois' original ban was unconstitutional. That means there's nothing to stop couples from marrying now.

County Clerk David Orr celebrated the change as "extraordinary and historic" and said "before long, it will be a regular occurrence." He added: "That is equality."

Because of the ruling, Champaign County has also begun issuing licenses. McLean County is to start March 24, and other counties may follow suit.

Among those applying in Cook County were couples from seven other states, nine other Illinois counties and 55 Chicago suburbs.

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