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County Clerks Reluctant To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses Despite OK From Attorney General

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miller250 Steve Miller
Steve Miller is an investigative reporter and has been with Newsradio...
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(CBS) — Cook County is issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples – but at this point, it seems same-sex couples in collar counties will have to wait until June.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has basically encouraged county clerks all over Illinois to start issuing marriage licenses now to same-sex couples.

She says she expects a federal judge’s ruling last month which applies to Cook County to be “persuasive” to other courts – meaning other counties can go ahead now and not have to wait until June 1, which is the date set by state law.

Lake County Clerk Willard Helander is hesitant to buy that logic.

“I went to law school. They did not teach me (to) do something because you’re persuaded. A judge can if the advocates before the court persuade the judge.

“But when you take an oath to uphold the law, it’s not ‘because I just felt like I should be persuaded.'”

Helander says it’s an “evolving situation” and she’s consulting with attorneys.

Clerks in DuPage and McHenry Counties have also indicated they’ll wait until June to issue same-sex marriage licenses.

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