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NWI Couples Receive Licenses Under New Marriage Law

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Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office issued 258 marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the week following a federal judge’s ruling that called for immediate implementation of Illinois’ Marriage Equality law, including five licenses to couples from northwest and northern Indiana, for residents of Gary, Portage, DeMotte and South Bend.
A total of 258 couples – 137 male and 121 female – were issued marriage licenses at the Clerk’s offices in Chicago and five suburbs between Friday, Feb. 21 and Friday, Feb. 28. “The first day we were able to issue marriage licenses to any same-sex couple in Illinois was extraordinary and historic,” Orr said. “Before long, it will be a regular occurrence in every county of Illinois. That is equality.”
Most couples (167) applied for a license downtown, but all suburban offices also issued licenses. The Skokie office issued 34 licenses; Rolling Meadows 19; Maywood 18; Bridgeview 12, and Markham, 8.
A dozen out-of-state couples applied for and received licenses in Cook County. Five were from Indiana, two from Colorado, and one couple each from Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, and South Carolina. Any out-of-state couple who fulfills the basic requirements for a marriage licenses application – they must be 18 or over, not blood relatives, and not currently married to someone else – can get a marriage license in Cook County, if they get married in Cook County, Orr said.
Thirty-one couples visited Cook County from other parts of Illinois to get a license and get married. Ten DuPage County couples requested licenses; five each from Lake and Kane, four from Will, three from Champaign, and one each from Winnebago, LaSalle, Kendall, and Dewitt counties.
More than half – 150 – of the couples are Chicago residents. Popular Chicago Zip codes include 14 from 60657 (Lakeview and East Lakeview); 13 from 60640 (includes Andersonville and Uptown); 11 from 60613 (includes north and west Lakeview, Graceland areas), nine from 60660 (Edgewater), and seven each from 60625 (includes Lincoln Square and Albany Park) and 60626 (includes Rogers Park, West Rogers Park).
A total of 83 licenses were issued to couples from 55 suburbs. Of those, seven are from Evanston, six from Oak Park, five from Berwyn, four from Des Plaines, and three each from Wheaton, Aurora, Glenview, Streamwood, and Oak Lawn.
The Cook County Clerks Office says those who were issued marriage licenses have come from every walk of life, as well. There were 21 educators/teachers, 10 attorneys, six accountants, six doctors, six police officers, three electricians, one steelworker, one forklift operator, and 33 who are retired.
In addition to Cook County, Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last week. The McLean County Clerk's office will begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses on March 24. Marriage equality is scheduled to take effect for all of Illinois on June 1.


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