U.S. News


Gay Couples In Ill. County Can Marry Now, Judge Rules

The federal judge's decision only affects Cook County, Illinois. This ruling comes just months before same-sex couples are allowed to marry in Ill.
Posted at 12:15 AM, Feb 22, 2014

The law allowing same-sex couples to "jump the broom" in Illinois goes into effect this June, but one federal judge asked, "why wait?" 

"Illinois' first couple to obtain a marriage license after a federal judge ruled that the wait for the state's same-sex law to take effect was unconstitutional said that holding their paper deepened their bond." (Via WLS-TV)

According to WBBM, same-sex couples filed into the Cook County Clerk's Office Friday to get their marriage licenses after, what some are calling, a surprise ruling. 

In her decision, U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said "There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry." (Via U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois)

The ruling comes after same-sex couples filed a lawsuit seeking to wed before June 1. According to the Washington Blade, four of the plaintiffs named in that lawsuit are facing terminal illness. 

Coleman's decision only affects Cook County since the plaintiffs sued county clerk David Orr's office but not any other county clerks. 

Orr kept Chicago's downtown office open for an extra two hours Friday for couples looking to get their licenses and even officiated one ceremony. (Via WMAQ)

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel praised Coleman's decision Friday. Emanuel wrote on Twitter, "Love does not discriminate, and neither should the law." (Via Flickr / ChrisEaves.com, Twitter / @RahmEmanuel)

Illinois became the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples outside of Cook County will get their chance to tie the knot in the state when that law goes into effect June 1.