Marriage equality is now officially the law in Illinois.
Last November, Governor Pat Quinn signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The Democrat's signature made the midwestern state the 16th in the US to recognize gay marriage.
The law was to go into effect today (1 June). However, at the end of 2014 February, a federal judge ruled Cook County should immediately start issuing issuing licenses.
Sixteen counties followed the judge's decision, but some waited until today.
'Waking up in a state of equality,' Equality Illinois, the state's largest LGBT rights organization, wrote on Twitter. 'Marriage equality is now in effect in Illinois!'
'Today is a special day—I thank everyone who worked so hard to pass marriage equality and put Illinois on the right side of history,' Quinn wrote on his election campaign Twitter account.
The incumbent governor faces a reelection this November.
LGBTI couples can now be legally married in 19 states.