A gay marriage law officially takes
effect on Sunday in Illinois.
But unlike other states where pent-up
demand from eager gay couples helped break marriage records,
Illinois' rollout isn't expected to break many records.
That's because gay couples have been
marrying in the state's largest county, Cook County, since February.
Cook County Clerk David Orr began
issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on February 21 after a
federal judge ruled that there was no need to wait for the marriage
law to take effect. The ruling was limited to Cook County but 15
other counties followed suit.
“I've issued about 1,600 marriage
licenses to same-sex couples since Feb. 21,” Orr tweeted on
Only a handful of the state's remaining
86 counties are planning to open Sunday to help inaugurate the law.
Montgomery County Clerk Sandy
Leitheiser was among those planning to process marriage-license
applications on the law's first day.
“I'm here to uphold the law of
Illinois, and if there's a way to accommodate couples based on need
and special circumstances, I'm available,” she told the
Illinois previously recognized gay
couples with civil unions. Starting Monday, couples can convert
their civil unions to marriages.