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Updated: Same Sex Marriage Is Now Legal in Illinois

Updated: Same Sex Marriage Is Now Legal in Illinois

Photo: Associated Press, Newsradio WTAX

Michelle L. Sevig and her partner Julie have been a couple for 20 years, marking their relationship first with a blessing in 1999. In 2011, the Chicago women got a civil union. On Sunday, Sevig said she was excited that she can now become legally married.

The 47-year-old said Sunday that the couple — who have three children — are “in full celebration mode” as gay marriage becomes legal in all of Illinois’ 102 counties.

She spoke during a beach-front celebration on Chicago’s North Side, adding: “Marriage equality . means the world to me and my family.”

Gay marriage has had a piecemeal start in Illinois. About 16 county clerks have been granting same-sex marriage licenses for months, but others have waited for the June rollout. And, since June 1 was a Sunday, today is the day many counties will begin.

Dennis Cockrum and Joel Brotherton were among the dozens of couples who lined up in Champaign County, where county clerk Gordy Hulten said his office had processed about two dozen licenses as of Sunday afternoon. He expected to complete between 40 and 50 licenses by the end of the day. June 1 marked the first day all of Illinois’ 102 counties could begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Brotherton and Cockrum of Champaign say they’ve been together for 15 years. Cockrum says the couple felt like they were “part of history.” Brotherton called it “a tremendous day for us.”

Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean says one couple had come to his office and he expected two others.

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