Gay Marriages Begin in Cook County - The Chicago Family Law Blog

The Chicago Family Law Blog

Gay Marriages Begin in Cook County

Wedding bells are in full swing at the Cook County clerk's office after U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman's recent ruling on gay marriage, allowing couples in the county to wed before June.

For the time being, same sex couples in other counties must wait until June 1, 2014 to obtain marriage licenses. That is when Governor Pat Quinn's bill legalizing same sex marriage becomes effective.

In Cook County, same sex couples began lining up for marriage licenses within one hour of Johnson's ruling.

Coleman's Gay Marriage Ruling

Last Friday, Coleman ruled that same-sex marriages can begin now in Cook County, Chicago Sun Times reports.

The decision broadens a previous ruling Coleman made in December that allowed same-sex couples to wed before June if one or both partners had a life-threatening illness.

With Coleman's recent ruling, all same-sex couples in Cook County can get married prior to June. Coleman's ruling may pave the way for clerks in other counties to issue licenses before June.

Cook County Marriage Licenses

In addition to tips on taxes and wedding planning issues, here are three reminders for Cook County couples:

  • When and where: The downtown Bureau of Vital Records, in the lower level of the Daley Center, will remain open for an extra two hours tonight -- until 7 p.m. -- to accommodate any couples who want to get a license after work. All other offices will begin issuing licenses starting Monday, The AP reports.
  • How long: Marriage licenses take effect the next calendar day and are valid for 60 days.
  • How much: The $60 license fee will be waived for any couple who already has an Illinois civil union license. Couples who wish to convert their prior civil union date to a marriage will have to wait until June 1 because it was not addressed in Coleman's order.

For extra guidance on the legal logistics on marriage and wedded bliss, consider consulting a Chicago family law attorney.

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