Gay marriage now legal statewide in Illinois - FOX 32 News Chicago

Gay marriage now legal statewide in Illinois

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CHICAGO (Associated Press) -

Gay and lesbian couples across Illinois can now legally wed as the state becomes the latest in the nation to allow same-sex marriage.

Sunday's celebration is anticlimactic for some, because 16 counties began issuing marriage licenses following a February federal court ruling.

Still, June 1 marks the first day all of Illinois' 102 counties can issue the licenses to same-sex couples. It's also the first day couples statewide who have civil unions can ask to convert those to a marriage.

There's no official number on how many couples have wed so far under the law Gov. Pat Quinn signed in November. But Equality Illinois, a gay-rights advocacy group, estimates about 1,300 same-sex licenses have been issued.

Bernard Cherkasov is the group's CEO. He calls Sunday "a history-making day in Illinois."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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