Five additional Illinois counties are
preparing to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian
The county clerks decided to act on
advice from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who on Tuesday
said that a federal judge's ruling ordering Cook County to
immediately begin issuing marriage licenses – roughly 3 months
before a marriage law approved by lawmakers takes effect on June 1 –
could be applied statewide.
“[T]he protections guaranteed by the
Constitution must exist without regard to county lines,” Madigan
wrote in a letter shared with all 102 county clerks.
According to the AP, clerks in Cass,
St. Clair and Jackson counties said that they would immediately
follow Madigan's advice. Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean said that
he'll begin issuing licenses possibly as early as Friday. McLean
County is expected to start later this month.
Champaign County began issuing marriage
licenses to gay couples last month.