A small group of couples was in line Monday morning at the Kane County clerk's office in Geneva to obtain marriage licenses – on the first business day that the same-sex marriage law took effect.
The first pair in line, and the first to obtain their marriage license in Kane, were Donn Bofani and Jerry McManaman of Elgin.
Bofani, who said he and McManaman have been together 43 years, was carrying a photo of them taken in the early 1970s. The pair had a civil union three years ago and were converting that to a marriage license.
"It means stability, security, recognition, equal rights," said Bofani, when asked what the day meant to him.
Tracy Simon and Michelle Selander of South Elgin obtained their license Monday morning, They will be married in a Saturday ceremony.
Simon said they had held off on entering into a civil union because they did not see any practical benefit. She and Selander have a 6-year-old daughter named Teagan.
"Our daughter is so excited," Simon said. "She keeps telling everybody, 'My mommies are getting married.'"
Outside, Amy and Steve Frankel had driven up from Aurora and they were offering little cupcakes to newly-licensed gay couples.
Amy said she and her husband married in December – and had delayed tying the knot until marriage equality had been approved in Illinois.
"It didn't seem right for us to take advantage of that when there were so many other people who couldn't,' Amy said.
Among the takers of baked goods were Carole Mauloff and Shari Hohl of Geneva, who got their license Monday and will have a July 12 ceremony for about 40 friends and family members.
"We're having a real weddin'," beamed Mauloff, a retired high school teacher.
Mauloff, who said she was a native of Chicago's South Side, said she and Hohl had resisted invitations to marry in other states where it was legal because they wanted Illinois to recognize their marriage.
"My sister said come to Minnesota," Mauloff said. "I said I'm not from Minnesota."