June 1st marks the first day same-sex marriage is legal in Illinois

(MGN)

(MGN)

For the first time in Illinois, same-sex couples will be able to marry.

In November of 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn made Illinois the 16th state in the union to allow same-sex marriage when he signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

Now, starting Sunday, June 1, 2014 Illinois counties may begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to ABC News.

Equality Illinois, a group that aims to “protect and defend equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people” in the state has a countdown clock on their website, ticking down until the moment where marriage equality is legal in Illinois.

“This is a time of celebration in the Land of Lincoln, and all of us bear witness to this historic enactment of justice and basic fairness. We are especially happy for the thousands of Illinois couples and their families, some of whom have been waiting for decades for this moment,”  said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

A survey by the group found that some Illinois clerks planned to open on June 1 to issue marriage licenses.

According to the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, couples who are currently in a civil union may convert their civil union to a marriage.

The bill also states that religious organizations may continue to use their own discretion to choose which marriages it will or will not officiate.

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