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State

Clerks not ready to issue licenses to gay couples

CHICAGO — County clerks say they're not going to rush to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples just because Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told them they can.

The state's new gay marriage law takes effect June 1. But Madigan said this week that licenses can be issued now.

About a dozen clerks tell The Associated Press they are waiting. They say they don't want to open themselves up to lawsuits and want to protect the couples from legal challenges.

Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean says he hopes to start issuing licenses as early as Friday. But he says he will tell the couples they could face legal challenges to their marriages.

Clerks in Cook and Champaign counties have decided to go ahead after a court ruled Cook County could do so.

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