UPDATE: Local County Clerks Talk Marriage License Timeline

By: Raquel Moore, AP
By: Raquel Moore, AP

UPDATE: STATELINE (WIFR) – Same sex couples will have to wait a little longer to get married in Winnebago County. This comes despite a decision by Attorney General Lisa Madigan allowing marriage licenses to be issued immediately.

Winnebago County Clerk Margie Mullins says her decision to not issue the licenses until June 1st is all about timing.

“Miss Madigan did not notify any of the clerks that I’m aware of. I have spoken with many of the clerks in the outlying areas, and they knew nothing.”

A check of Stateline Counties shows Boone will also wait until the mandated June start.

Stephenson, Lee, and Ogle counties are uncertain at this time and they are reviewing the status of the law with their state’s attorneys. Terminology on these documents must still be worked out. For example, the words “bride” and “groom”. Mullins adds an outside vendor is being hired to make the marriage certificates and these documents won’t be completed for several weeks.

“If the state had maybe notified all the vendors that were involved, that this was what was going to go on then that might have made a difference. I personally want to say that the law states June 1st, and that's what I am going to go by, is what the law states,” said Mullins.

Mullins’ office has gotten a few phone calls from couples wanting to get their licenses today. To those people she explains they need to wait a month or two and then call back to set up a June appointment.

So far, we’ve confirmed two central Illinois Counties, Macon and Champaign, started giving out the licenses already. A reminder, if someone wants a marriage license, they must get it in the same county where they had their civil union. It can’t be done in different counties.


CHICAGO (AP) -- Attorney General Lisa Madigan is telling Illinois' county clerks they have the right to immediately issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Madigan issued the guidance Tuesday in response to a question from Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean.

A state law legalizing same-sex marriage takes effect June 1. But a federal judge in Chicago ruled Feb. 21 that Illinois' original ban was unconstitutional. That means there's nothing to stop couples from marrying now.

The court said the ruling only applied to Cook County. However, in a letter to Bean, Madigan said because current restrictions on gay marriage are unconstitutional, same sex couples asking for a marriage license in any county can be given one.

Gov. Pat Quinn, in a statement, said every county clerk in Illinois should quickly follow Madigan's guidance.


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