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More than 6,500 Cook County same-sex marriage ceremonies in 2014

More than 6,500 same-sex couples were married in Cook County in the first year of marriage equality, according to a statement from the Cook County clerk’s office.

The most recent numbers from the clerk’s office indicate:

  • 14 percent of the spouses reported being Hispanic, 13 percent were African-American, and 4 percent were Asian;
  • at least one license was issued to a couple residing in every Chicago zip code, except for two zip codes (60707 and 60827);
  • at least one license was issued to a couple residing in 113 of 127 suburban Cook County municipalities;
  • more than 80 percent of the spouses reported either attending or graduating from college; and
  • hundreds of occupations were reported, with the most popular being: teachers, doctors, lawyers, nurses and members of the U.S. military.

Same-sex spouses have been as young as 17 and as old as 93, the statement said. The average age is 42. Those who have converted their civil unions to marriages were slightly older than those who did not have a civil union. People 60 years old or older accounted for 1,214 of these newlyweds.

On Feb. 21, 2014, a federal judge cleared the way for Clerk Orr to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples who planned to marry in Cook County – more than three months before marriage equality took effect throughout Illinois, according to the clerk’s office.

About 66 percent of the licenses were issued to same-sex couples from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. However, more than 1,800 couples traveled from other states to marry here, particularly from midwestern and southern states where same-sex marriage licenses are not issued.

“While marriage equality has spread like a tidal wave across the country, it needs to be recognized in every state,” Cook County Clerk David Orr said in a statement. “Couples from 41 other states – big and small, urban and rural – have applied for licenses in Cook County. And as we’ve seen recently in Alabama, Arkansas and Kansas, the fight for equality is not yet over.”