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8 things to know about today's same-sex marriage ruling in Cook County

February 21, 2014|Staff report | RedEye

What happened today?

A federal judge in Chicago said same-sex couples don’t have to wait until June to marry. That’s when the measure legalizing gay marriages was to go into effect.

What happened before the decision?
Two Illinois women who were in a civil union sued last year to challenge the start date; one of the them had been battling breast cancer and was told by a doctor she had little time to live. A judge granted the request and they wed in November. Later, the judge who on Friday did away with the June 1 start date ordered the Cook County clerk’s office to issue licenses to couples in similar circumstances.

What did the judge say today?

"There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry.”   --  U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman.

How soon can people get married?

Couples were able to get a marriage licence Friday at the downtown Bureau of Vital Records, in the Daley Center. The Cook County clerk said the office was going to stay open until 7 p.m.

When do marriage licenses take effect?

The next calendar day

How long are they valid?

60 days

How much?

$60. The fee will be waved for couples who already have Illinois civil union licenses.

What if you’re already in a civil union?

Couples who want to convert their civil union to a marriage have to wait until June 1 because the judge did not address that matter in her ruling.

EXCERPTED FROM CHICAGO TRIBUNE REPORT

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