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Illinois Begins Issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

TSPR's Rich Egger

McDonough County began issuing same sex marriage licenses Monday. County Clerk Gretchen DeJaynes said couples must apply in person at the county courthouse.

New marriage licenses cost $65 but they’re free for those already in a civil union. 

“You can convert your civil union to a marriage if you choose," DeJaynes said. "We have had a couple of couples decide to that and we have had a marriage already this morning."

For couples converting, the marriage license will be backdated to the start of their civil union. DeJaynes said the process requires a little paperwork and new signatures from the couple.

McDonough County has issued about 15 civil unions over the past three years. In Illinois, about 6,000 couples have entered into civil unions since they became legal in 2011.

Some Illinois counties began offering marriage licenses to same-sex couples in February following a federal judge’s ruling that the state’s ban was unconstitutional. So far, about 1,140 same-sex couples have wed.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.