Now that a judge has ruled that Cook County must issue marriage licenses to same sex couples right away, rather than waiting for June, other counties may soon follow.
Although U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Friday that same-sex marriages can begin immediately in Cook County, supporters of the law said her decision opens the door for gay marriages to begin in all of Illinois’ 102 counties.
In Jackson County, Clerk Larry Reinhardt said he’s awaiting further direction from legal counsel. But, he said it wouldn’t be a problem if he was directed to begin issuing marriage licenses before the state law goes into effect June 1. “We’re already set up for the June implementation,” Reinhardt said Friday. “It should be an easy transition.”
Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean said county lawyers recommended the county not move forward to begin issuing licenses. In a letter from the Macon County state’s attorney’s office, Bean was told that “unless and until ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction, you, as Macon County Clerk, may not violate the standing law of the State of Illinois by issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples at this time.”
On Top Magazine reports:
“Many couples in Illinois have waited long enough for marriage equality,” Quinn said in a statement, “and today’s ruling means thousands of Illinois couples no longer have to wait. Our law is a victory for equal rights in America, and shows that citizens and lawmakers can come together on issues of fairness and human rights. I applaud U.S. District Court Judge Sharon J. Coleman for her stance in recognizing that ‘there is no reason to delay further’ giving all couples the right to marry in Cook County. Every county across the state should enjoy the same freedom without having to wait until June,” Quinn added.
Will the other 101 counties in Illinois follow his lead?