Local counties hold-off same sex marriage, even at governor’s urging

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is encouraging all counties in the state of Illinois to start allowing same-sex couples to get married now instead of waiting until the June 1 deadline.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn also released a statement saying he supports Madigan.

In February, a judge ruled that same-sex couples could now start getting married in Cook County. Champaign county quickly followed suit.

However even at the urging of the attorney general and state governor, many counties are still holding off until June.

It is not technically up to the attorney general or governor to move the date up months ahead of time, that is reserved for the counties to decide. If some counties do start issuing same sex-marriage licenses like Cook County and Champaign County already have, they could be challenged and taken to court.

Another issue is that many counties are just simply not ready to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

QC Pride board member, Allen Bertsche, said he is excited Illinois is moving faster on this but realizes it is up to each county to say whether or not they can be ready.

“I can understand wanting to wait to make sure you have the necessary steps in place in each county office to be able to issue the licenses and do so in a correct manner,” Bertsche said. “The idea that Illinois will be on the same par with Iowa, that people on both sides of the river will have the same opportunity to live as equals is a good step; and if that happens sooner we would love that, but if it has to wait until June, we’re going to be very happy come June.”

Illinois became the 16th state to allow same-sex couples to get married last year. It remains to be seen whether or not other Illinois counties will follow Cook and Champaign’s lead.

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