Five additional Illinois counties are preparing to begin issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

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.