State

2nd Illinois county issues gay marriage licenses

Marissa Meli, left, and Laura Meli talk to Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten on Wednesday while they wait for the marriage license to be printed at Champaign County Champaign County Clerks office in Urbana.  Champaign County officials said the central Illinois county would begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Wednesday, making it the second county to do so after a federal judge ruled Cook County gay couples wouldnít have to wait until Illinoisí new gay marriage law takes effect this summer.
Marissa Meli, left, and Laura Meli talk to Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten on Wednesday while they wait for the marriage license to be printed at Champaign County Champaign County Clerks office in Urbana. Champaign County officials said the central Illinois county would begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Wednesday, making it the second county to do so after a federal judge ruled Cook County gay couples wouldnít have to wait until Illinoisí new gay marriage law takes effect this summer.

CHICAGO – Champaign County began issuing same-sex marriage licenses Wednesday, making it the second county to do so after a federal judge ruled Cook County gay couples did not have to wait until the state’s new gay marriage law takes effect this summer.

The ruling last week stemmed from a lawsuit against Cook County Clerk David Orr and applied only to Cook County, which includes Chicago. However, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman also said the state’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, which legal experts said other counties could use as a reason to issue marriage licenses right away.

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