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Local

18 same-sex couples seek marriage licenses on Monday in county

GENEVA – Eightteen same-sex couples sought marriage licneses in Kane County on Monday, the first day the clerk's office was open to accept them under a new Illinois law.

Fifteen were in civil unions who filed for conversions to marriages. Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said his office did not charge a fee for the conversions.

Three same-sex couples came in for marriage licenses, and one heterosexual couple with a civil union also converted the union to a marriage license, Cunningham said.

"We have only had a little over 200 civil unions, less than 10 percent of the population," Cunningham said. "We handle this like any other license."

Cunningham said he expected a few more to come in on Wednesday night, when his office is open until 7 p.m.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act on Nov. 20, 2013, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to accept full marriage equality.

The law officially went into effect June 1, allowing every couple in Illinois, regardless of gender, equal access to the status, benefits, protections, rights and responsibilities of marriage, according to a statement released by the governor on Sunday.

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