More than 5,000 same-sex couples have been married in Illinois since the law allowing same-sex marriages took effect on June 1, according to a news release from Equality Illinois, an LGBT advocate organization.
The survey of Illinois counties conducted by Equality Illinois found that at least 3,274 marriage licenses were issued, and 1,694 civil unions were converted to marriages.
Of that number, at least two of those couples are from Bureau County. Both of those couples converted their civil union licenses to a marriage license. Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus said her office also issued a marriage license last week to another couple.
Other numbers recorded in adjoining counties, according to Equality Illinois, include: Henry County — two civil union licenses converted to marriage licenses; LaSalle County — 10 civil union licenses converted and six marriage licenses; Marshall County — none; Putnam County — one civil union conversion; Stark County — none. These numbers are all take from the Equality Illinois survey.
Tracking the exact number is a challenge because the 102 Illinois counties’ record-keeping systems vary. The survey found that some county clerks combined the licenses and conversions into one number. Other counties – including DeKalb – said they treat all marriages the same, and thus do not keep a record of the same-sex marriages. If they had, the number of newly recorded same-sex marriages would easily be over 5,000.
Five counties didn’t respond to the survey, the news release says, and nine counties reported no licenses or conversions issued.
The survey found that most of the marriages happened in Cook County with 2,370 new licenses and 800 conversions being reported.
Rock Island County was another county with a large number of marriages. According to the survey, it reported 108 marriage licenses and 62 civil union conversions.
BCR Editor Terri Simon contributed to this report.
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