7,500+ licenses issued to same-sex couples in Cook County

June 26, 2015
Press Release
Vital Records

7,500+ licenses issued to same-sex couples in Cook County

Cook County Clerk David Orr applauded the 5-4 ruling Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of marriage equality in the United States. The landmark decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges makes same-sex marriage a constitutional right in the United States.

“Marriage equality will now be the law of the land, and there is no turning back,” Orr said. "I am thrilled that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of marriage equality, agreeing with the majority of Americans that same-sex couples throughout the United States should enjoy the right to marry.

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” Orr said. “For too long, same-sex couples in this country have had to wait: for state legislatures to pass marriage equality; for judges to declare that withholding this right was unconstitutional; and for voters to turn back anti-equality initiatives, just so they could marry the person they love.

“Like all civil rights struggles, the fight for marriage equality has been long and contentious, but those on the frontlines worked hard and kept their focus steady, as their victories increased. I have supported this fight, applauded each victory, especially here in Illinois and Cook County. I congratulate the LBGT community, and all advocates of equality, on this momentous day.”

Prior to the ruling, the legality of same-sex marriage was left up to individual state legislatures and the court. In total, 37 states as well as the District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage from 2004-2015. Illinois became the 16th state to enact marriage equality on June 1, 2014.

Cook County started issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Feb. 21, 2014 (photos/video). Orr has issued more than 7,500 marriage licenses to same-sex couples since then. More than one-quarter of those couples have come from out of state.

Same-sex couples looking for more information on getting married in Cook County can find frequently asked questions and more on the Clerk’s Marriage Equality webpage, www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/marriageequality.