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Marriage Tourism Boost from Same-Sex Couples

Updated: Wednesday, May 28 2014, 11:19 AM CDT

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- County Officials have been issuing same sex marriage licenses since February and already they have noticed a large percentage of the couples are from out of state.

31 out of 71 same-sex couples have traveled to Illinois for the licenses and many are choosing to get married right away, which means big business for area vendors.

Once a marriage license is issued, couples have to wait till the next day to be married.

The licenses are only good for 60 days, so some couples are choosing to stay in the area for multiple days in area hotels and have their wedding ceremony in local venues.

Licenses will be issued state-wide on June 1, but officials believe people will still come to Champaign due to the friendly atmosphere.

Some area hotels are already what they call "tag approved" which means the staff has undergone sensitivity training in an effort to market to same-sex couples.

Because the law starts state-wide on sunday, the County Clerk's office will be open from 1:00pm to 4:00pm in the afternoon.

At that time, the county will legally be able to convert civil unions to marriages immediately and free of charge.

Marriage Tourism Boost from Same-Sex Couples

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