by Ben Johnson
SPRINGFIELD, IL, March 6, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – At the urging of the state attorney general, clerks in three Illinois counties have announced they will begin issuing marriage licenses to homosexual couples months before they are allowed to by law.
The state may not issue legal marriage certificates to same-sex couples until June 1 under a new law signed by Gov. Pat Quinn. But an Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge, Sharon Johnson Coleman, ruled on February 21 that Cook County could begin legally recognizing gay unions at once, because homosexuals had “already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry.”
Although the ruling applied only to Cook County, State Attorney General Lisa Madigan wrote a letter encouraging all county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples at once.
Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten, a Republican, announced that he will comply, saying what is true for one county must be true statewide.
Officials in St. Clair and Cass counties announced today they will jump the gun on gay “marriage” by three months, as well. Clerk Michael Kirchner said today that waiting until the law takes effect “seems trivial.”
State homosexual groups hoped they would be the first of a torrent of county officials writing the law for themselves. "It is simply time for the other county clerks to follow suit," Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, said.
David E. Smith of the Illinois Family Institute, said encouraging the government to ignore the law “sets an extremely dangerous precedent.”
Clerks in several Illinois counties have announced they will follow the law by not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until June 1.
Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said, “I am governed by the law, and the law says June 1. The court order did not mention Kane County.”
Legal experts have said doing so would be self-defeating, because it would call into question the validity of such licenses. Cunningham added, “If I issue licenses before then, it could be dangerous from a legal aspect.”
Sangamon County Clerk Joe Aiello announced that he will comply with the law.
County clerks from Adams, Brown, Hancock, and Pike counties agreed that the legislature holds the power to set the date when legislation takes effect, not the courts. To move the date up, they must act or a judge must compel their county to do so. Anything else would be lawless.
“When unelected judicial activists like Judge Coleman circumvent the legislative process, they are in essence telling the legislature that they are irrelevant,” Smith said. “State lawmakers and county clerks should not be complicit in this gross usurpation of the legislative process.”