First same-sex marriage license issued in Rock Island County

On Monday, June 2, 2014, same sex couples could get married for the first time in Illinois.

On Sunday, June 1, 2014, same sex marriage became legal in the state of Illinois. The county clerk’s office in Rock Island County opened up at 8 a.m. Monday. Two couples showed up to get their marriage license in the first hour and a half of the day. The first couple to get married was John Kentzel and Larry Griffin of Rock Island, who have been together for 35 years. They also were the first couple to get their civil union in Rock Island County back on June 3, 2011.

“Thrity-five years ago, I didn’t imagine this happening in my lifetime,” Griffin said.

Couples in Rock Island County have been able to marry in Iowa since 2009. Kentzel and Griffin decided not to do that though, because they live in Illinois.

“It’s a big step. It’s the final step,” Griffin said Monday. “The civil union was a step in the right direction. This is the end. This is the right direction.”

Henry County Clerk Barb Link says she does not expect any same-sex couples to get their licenses Monday. She says only about ten people in the county got their civil unions back in 2011.

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