Couples rush to tie the knot after same sex marriage becomes legal in Illinois

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - There’s been a big rush on marriage licenses across Illinois, same sex couples can now legally tie the knot.  In Edwardsville there were three couples at the Madison County Courthouse waiting for the doors to open. The same three in the same order as a few years ago when same sex couples could be united in a civil union.

People like Sonny Byrnes are thrilled, “It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Byrnes and her fiancée Candice Bland came from Missouri to apply for their marriage license in Illinois. It turns out the couple is already a family.  Byrnes added, “We’re people, we have our families too and we love our kids were the same as everybody else and it feels great to have our rights.”  Bland said, “It’s only fair we should be able to get married as all the heterosexual couples do.”

Typically two couples apply for marriage licenses each day at the courthouse, but with same sex marriage becoming legal Sunday the rush was on. By early Monday afternoon 18 couples had come in, there have been a lot of tears of joy.  Debbie Ming-Mendoza is the county clerk, “They’re happy, they’re very happy. We’ve had several couples break down in tears.”

In St. Clair County they’ve been marrying same sex couples for a couple months now because of a judge’s The Missouri couple is optimistic that one day soon Missouri will also have legal marriages for same-sex couples. But, this was the first day couples with a civil union document could immediately convert that into a marriage license giving them more rights.  Nathanael Thomas just got married, “I never thought I’d see it growing up I never thought I’d see it get this far.”  His husband  Jason Thomas said, “It’s a new start for everybody and it makes you feel good.”

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