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2nd Illinois County Begins Offering Gay Marriage Licenses

County clerks in some parts of Illinois, however, said they'll wait until June to issue same-sex marriage licenses




    A second Illinois county on Wednesday began issuing same-sex marriage licenses ahead of a new state law that takes effect June 1.

    Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said the decision comes after a judge's ruling last week declaring Illinois' ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. That ruling applied to Cook County, where Chicago is located, because the lawsuit was filed against County Clerk David Orr.

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    U.S. District Judge rules couples don't need to wait until June 1. Mary Ann Ahern reports (Published Friday, Feb. 21, 2014)

    But Hulten said he consulted with Champaign County's attorneys and decided that if the original law "is unconstitutional in Cook County, it's unconstitutional in Champaign County."

    He also said he wanted to spare taxpayers the expense of a lawsuit.

    Orr on Wednesday said 133 same-sex couples had gotten marriage licenses in Cook County since the judge's ruling.

    Bernard Cherkasov of Equality Illinois applauded the decision and said it's time for other Illinois counties to follow suit. Several county clerks, however, said they'll wait until June to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Those clerks include the counties of Sangamon, Logan, Cass, Morgan, Macoupin, Montgomery and Christian.

    Gov. Pat Quinn last November signed a bill making Illinois the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

     Tune in March 4, 2014 to watch the Illinois GOP Candidates for Governor go  head-to- head on issues facing Illinois in the University of Chicago and NBC 5 Candidate  Forum. Watch live online right here.