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Same-sex marriages in Bureau County

PRINCETON — Starting in June 2014, same-sex couples will be able to obtain marriage licenses in Illinois. Currently, those couples have been able to get civil union licenses through county clerk offices throughout the state.

On Friday, Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus said her office has processed seven civil union applications and licenses since the civil union legislation went into effect in June 2011.

Four of those civil union applications in Bureau County were processed in the first eligible year, in 2011; there was one application in 2012. So far this year, there have been two civil union applications processed through her office, she said.

The civil union application and license is returned to her office and processed just like a marriage license would be. Once the new same-sex marriage license becomes effective in June, she does not expect any additional paperwork or expense to her office.

County clerk offices in neighboring Whiteside and Lee counties have each recorded 10 civil unions since June 2011.

In comparison with the number of civil union applications handled through her office, Hieronymus said her office processed 195 marriage licenses in 2011; 194 marriage licenses in 2012; and 156 marriage licenses so far this year.

Though the same-sex marriage bill is not officially signed into law yet, Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will sign the bill legalizing gay marriage on Nov. 20 at the University of Illinois in Chicago. When it becomes law, Illinois will become the 15th state to allow same-sex marriage.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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