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When should same-sex marriage licenses be issued in Illinois?

Same-sex marriage is going to be legal in Illinois this summer, on the first of June. However, some couples would like to get their marriage licenses before that if possible, and officials in Cook County have said that they will side with these couples and give them the licenses ahead of the official start date for this new law. They have even said that other counties may not do the same thing, so people from those counties could come to Cook County to get the paperwork that they need.

However, clerks from other counties have said that they are not holding back because they do not want the couples to get the licenses. Rather, they are not providing them until the law kicks in for the entire state because they want to do what they can to protect those couples in the future.

One clerk said that lawsuits may be filed in the future that say that any licenses that were given out before the June 1st deadline are not legally binding. This could impact things like child support if there had been a divorce. The clerks wanted to wait until the legal action had taken place to make sure that everything held up.

In a case like this, the rights of the future children have to be taken into account, along with the rights of the couple. For example, after a divorce, the partner who should be paying child support could claim that he or she did not have to do so because the marriage had never been legally binding in the first place. This has never happened before, so it is uncertain how that would hold up in court, but giving the licenses out early could open the door for such a thing, a door that will not exist after the first of June.

Source: Daily Herald, "Madigan urges issuing same-sex marriage licenses now" Mike Riopell, Mar. 04, 2014

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