Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan [official website] is encouraging county clerks statewide to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Madigan's actions are a result of a ruling [JURIST report] by the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois [official website] that same-sex couples in Cook County may be issued marriage licenses immediately, rather than having to wait for the effective date of Illinois' same-sex marriage law [text, PDF] in June. The encouragement by the Attorney General was first noted on Tuesday [Chicago Sun-Times report] in a letter to the Macon County [official website] clerk's office. While some counties have started issuing same-sex marriage licenses, it has been reported [Chicago Tribune report] that many Illinois counties are ignoring the Attorney General and waiting until June.
Issues surrounding same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] remain controversial throughout the US. Recently several state attorneys general have declined to defend [JURIST report] their states' same-sex marriage bans. In February the Indiana Senate approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would prohibit same-sex marriage in the state [JURIST report]. In November Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie [official website] signed into law [JURIST report] a bill legalizing same-sex marriage [text, PDF]. Also in October JURIST Guest Columnist Theodore Seto argued the fallout from the US v. Windsor [SCOTUSblog backgrounder; JURIST report] decision is only beginning to show the role state governments will have [JURIST op-ed] in state constitutional modification.