Same sex marriage now legal throughout Ill. - FOX 32 News Chicago

Same sex marriage now legal throughout Ill.

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Same-sex marriage is now legal everywhere in Illinois. County clerks offices all over the state are issuing marriage licenses to couples, until now had always been denied.

Every couple has their own reasons why they want to say "I do."

"It's time to profess our love. We want to make it official, we want to put it on paper," Takisha Mayewell and Carolyn Hamilton said. They have been in a relationship for seven years.

Unity in Chicago married and renewed vows for 40 couples in Rogers Park on Sunday, the day same-sex marriage became legal throughout the state.

"Everyone has the right to choose who they love and they want to marry. It's such a remarkable experience because we do have heterosexual couples. We have people renewing their vows, we have gay couples, we have lesbian couples. Because love is all there is," Heidi Alfrey, senior minister at Unity Chicago said.

Sunday, tears of joy were shed along with many years of love. For some couples, it meant celebrating seven years together. For others, it meant celebrating 60 years of marriage.

All of them wanted to share their love together on the first day of marriage equality in Illinois.

"I can't believe we're actually able to do this. We're so blessed. Yes we are. It's so amazing, it's a dream, an actual dream come true," Kevin Herndon Douglas McMorrow said.

Monday, lines are expected to be long at county clerks offices across the state with same-sex couples looking to get marriage licenses. Although same-sex couples have been able to wed in Cook County since February 1 because of a special court order, city officials still expect a rush when the office opens at 8:30 a.m.

Many of those who lined up were couples who have been in civil unions. Those couples will be considered married automatically, but will still need to fill out some forms to make it official. To do that, it costs nothing. But to receive a copy of the certificate, they will need to pay $15 and $4 for each additional copy.

Cook County clerk David Orr presented the first couple with their marriage certificate.

"It was a fabulous feeling, very emotional. I was surprised it was so emotional because we thought it was a technicality but this is real, something different. It is not just about the benefits or legality, so we are thrilled," Orr said.

Orr also said 120 same-sex couples converted civil unions to marriages Monday as the new state law took effect. The same law allowing gay marriage also allows same-sex couples to easily convert civil unions into marriages.

Couples with civil unions can get a $65 marriage license free of charge at any Cook County clerk's offices until May 31, 2015.

The couple's date of marriage will be backdated to their date of civil union. Both partners need to appear at a county clerk's office to make the change. Couples must have the conversion done in the county where they received their civil union.

At 10 a.m. Monday, supporters for marriage equality spoke out against Bruce Rauner and his “vow to veto” the legislation at the Daley Plaza.

FOX 32's Joanie Lum contributed to this story.

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