Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan told county clerks across the state on Tuesday that they could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Effectively, marriage equality has arrived across Illinois about three months early — provided clerks take advantage of the guidance.
Madigan’s guidance follows a federal court decision overturning Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage last month, which only applied to one county. After marriages began in Cook County, Champaign County followed suit. Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has encouraged all other counties to take Madigan’s invitation and not wait until the marriage equality law takes effect on June 1.
Some clerks have already suggested they plan to wait, but Madigan also pointed out that couples who are denied a license could file suit like they did in Cook County.