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.