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COOK COUNTY, Ill. (KSDK) – Same-sex couples facing terminal illness can get married six months ahead of Illinois' marriage equality law taking effect, Buzzfeed reports.

A U.S. District Court Judge has ordered the Cook County Clerk's office to provide marriage licenses to same-sex Illinois couples who can prove that a life-threatening illness could prevent them from getting married before June 1.

While the order applies only to Cook County, same-sex couples from other parts of the state can seek licenses in Cook County as long as they get married there.

The ruling paves the way for couples to apply for a license instead of taking individual caseds to court – something three couples have already done.

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