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Chicago mayor supports same-sex marriage

Chicago mayor supports same-sex marriage

Chicago mayor Richard Daley said he would have "no problem" with Cook County, Ill., issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in Chicago, the nation's third-largest city. Entering a national debate over same-sex marriage, Daley urged sympathy for gay and lesbian couples because "they love each other just as much as anyone else." Daley also dismissed a suggestion Wednesday that same-sex marriages would undermine the institution. "Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage," he said. "Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community." Daley said only the county clerk's office can issue marriage licenses, and he stopped short of saying he would follow San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom by approving marriage licenses for same-sex couples. County clerk David Orr said he is "game to looking at options," but only if a consensus could be built between Daley and city and county government and advocacy groups. "I'm fed up with people being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation," Orr said. "[But] whatever you do when it comes to challenging laws, you want it to be effective and not knee-jerk." Last fall the Cook County board authorized Orr to issue certificates of domestic partnership, which carry no legal rights. Rick Garcia, political director for the gay rights group Equality Illinois, welcomed Daley's comments, saying they represent "another step in the right direction."

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