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Sabra Blumhorst, right, and her partner Chelsea Baker pose on the day they exchanged wedding vows in 2013, months before the state recognized same-sex marriages. / Jen Haselhorst, AP

BELLEVILLE, Illinois (AP) - Sabra Blumhorst and Chelsea Baker exchanged wedding vows near their southern Illinois home last November, when Illinois didn't recognize same-sex marriages.

That all changes Sunday.

June 1 marks the day counties must begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses under legislation signed into law late last year.

Gay couples and advocates will be marking the date with blessing ceremonies and group weddings. Several county clerks' offices will offer Sunday hours to issue licenses to those who don't want to wait for Monday morning.

A February federal court ruling in Chicago declared Illinois' original ban unconstitutional, clearing the way for some same-sex couples to marry. Sixteen counties since have been issuing same-sex marriage licenses.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: Same-sex marriage takes effect statewide in Illinois

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