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Judge: Gay couples can wed in Illinois’ Cook County

BY SOPHIA TAREEN AND TAMMY WEBBER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHICAGO -- Same-sex couples in Illinois' largest county can begin applying for marriage licenses immediately, according to a federal judge's ruling Friday that some attorneys said could give county clerks statewide a reason to also issue marriage certificates right away.

Illinois approved same-sex marriage last year; the new law takes effect June 1. However, U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled Friday that same-sex marriages can begin in Cook County, where Chicago is located.

"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," she wrote in the order.

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