© 2024 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Some Illinois Couples Get Jump Start On Marriage Before Law Goes Into Effect Monday

Wikimedia Commons

Some Illinois counties are letting same-sex couples marry this weekend, ahead of the official June 1 date for legalizing such unions.

Jersey and Sangamon counties are among those who began taking applications for marriages licenses on Friday. Because June 1 is a Sunday, counties aren’t required to begin accepting applications until Monday, June 2.

But St. Clair County has been marrying same-sex couples since March.

The go-ahead came in February, after a federal judge ruled that Illinois’ ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan then gave counties the choice to issue licenses before the June 1 date. St.  Clair County began offering applications March 5, using forms that designate “spouse 1” and “spouse 2” rather than “husband” and “wife.”

St. Clair County Clerk Thomas Holbrook said that during the past three months, 20 same-sex couples have applied for licenses.

“Fifteen of those have returned that application, so they’re married, about five of them are still out,” Holbrook said. “You have 60 days from the time we issue the application license for them to return it, and we record it as an official marriage.” 

All same-sex couples who marry in St. Clair County before June 1 have to sign a paper acknowledging their marriage took place before the official June 1 date, in case there are challenges to their union down the road.

Please help St. Louis Public Radio report on this story. Click here to become a source in the Public Insight Network and share what you know.  

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.