Same-Sex Couples Can Now Marry In Cook County
By Tony Arnold, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
A federal judge Friday has allowed same-sex couples to get married in Cook County -- starting immediately.
The ruling only applies to that county.
Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman issued a written ruling saying couples shouldn’t have to wait for the state law to go into effect.
Last year - the Illinois legislature voted to allow same-sex couples to get married - starting June 1st this year.
In her ruling - Judge Coleman said - quote - “committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry.”
There was no opposition to the lawsuit filed against Cook County Clerk David Orr.
Judge Coleman's order says there is no reason to delay same-sex marriages. Her finding applies only to Cook County.
Orr says he'll keep the downtown Chicago Bureau of Vital Records open an extra two hours on Friday evening, until 7 p.m.
He says he's doing that to accommodate any couples who want to get marriage licenses after work. Only the downtown Chicago will issue same-sex licenses on Friday.
All Cook County offices will offer licenses on Monday.