Same-sex couples can apply early to marry in Illinois

The future is now for same-sex couples in Illinois.

Three months ahead of schedule, they can now apply for marriage licenses after the latest opinion from the state's Attorney General.

St. Clair County Clerk Tom Holbrook says they're printing off the updated marriage license applications that are inclusive of same-sex couples, and anyone can come in and apply.

Clerks across the state were originally set to start licensing same-sex couples to marry on June 1.

But a ruling from a judge ordering the clerk in Cook County, near Chicago, to start issuing licenses immediately has trickled down.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent an opinion Tuesday telling clerks all over that they could also start issuing them immediately.

Tom Holbrook tells us his office is working with the State's Attorney's Office to move the process to start licensing along.

"So we're going to have people fill out the application, and we're going to provide those to him for review to make sure they meet the criteria," Holbrook said. "And then he'll make the decision if we have both the legal authority and the applicants are appropriate that are applying whether we can issue that license."

Holbrook says for now, this is a safeguard to make sure the county doesn't open itself up to any liability.

"If they're in a civil union now there are some requirements they have to go through to convert. If it is same sex marriage rather than a heterosexual marriage. We have some things we have to change on our application that weren't set up for that, that had husband-wife."

If the State's Attorney approves the applications they get this week, Holbrook anticipates they could have the first same-sex marriage licenses issued early next week.

We also spoke with the Monroe County Clerk. He says they're working to get the necessary forms and make changes to their computer system. No decision on a date when they'll start issuing licenses yet.


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