Illinois governor responds to legal gay marriage

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says the state is now “on the right side of history,” as gay marriage becomes legal.

The Chicago Democrat issued a statement Sunday, the first day of legal gay marriage in all of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Quinn says “all couples across Illinois can now receive the rights and protections under the sacred vow of marriage.” And he says Illinois has “always been a place to embrace all people.”

Gay marriage has had a piecemeal start in Illinois, following a February federal court ruling.

About 16 county clerks have been granting same-sex marriage licenses for months, but others have waited for the June 1 rollout.

Advocate say about 1,300 couples have wed so far. About 6,000 couples have received civil unions since they became legal in 2011.

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