Gay marriage law takes effect in Illinois

Associated Press Published:

CHICAGO -- Gay and lesbian couples across Illinois can be legally wed as the state becomes the latest in the nation to allow same-sex marriage.

June 1 marks the first day all of Illinois' 102 counties can issue the licenses to same-sex couples. It's also the first day couples statewide who have civil unions can ask to convert those to a marriage.

Sunday's celebration is anticlimactic for some, because 16 counties began issuing marriage licenses following a February federal court ruling.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law in November. Equality Illinois, a gay-rights advocacy group, estimates about 1,300 same-sex licenses have been issued since then.

Bernard Cherkasov is the group's CEO. He calls Sunday "a history-making day in Illinois."

Fleeing scene ... with cop: A man who allegedly fled from a traffic stop in southern New Jersey with a police officer inside his car in facing numerous charges. Florence police told the Burlington County Times that 19-year-old Randy Eno Mase of Wilmington, Del., was stopped early Saturday for speeding. When officers started speaking with Mase, they say he tried to drive off. An officer then entered the car through the driver's side door and tried to stop him, but Mase drove off with the officer still in the vehicle. A short time later, the officer was able to stop the vehicle. Mase faces numerous charges, including aggravated assault, eluding and drug charges. He also faces several motor vehicle citations.

Father meets father: The father of a college student who was gunned down in the May 23 mass killings near the University of California, Santa Barbara, said he met privately with the father of his son's killer on Sunday. Richard Martinez told KEYT-TV he met Peter Rodger, the father of 22-year-old Elliot Rodger, at a Santa Barbara coffee shop. He wouldn't discuss details of what he called a "private conversation between grieving fathers," but said they reached common ground. Martinez has been an outspoken critic of the nation's gun laws since his 20-year-old son, Christopher Michaels-Martinez, was shot in the rampage that left five other UC San Barbara students dead. Police believe the killer took his own life after crashing his car as officers moved in.

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