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Illinois AG urges issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples

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.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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