STERLING – 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. Of that number, at least eight of those couples are from the Sauk Valley.
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.
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 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.
Sauk Valley breakdown
As of Thursday afternoon:
Lee County: 3 marriage licenses, 0 conversions Whiteside County: 0 marriage licenses, 1 conversion Carroll County: 2 marriage licenses, 0 conversions *Bureau County: 0 marriage licenses, 2 conversions Ogle County: Clerk's office doesn't keep a record of those numbers
* Numbers might be out-of-date