The Attorney General in the US state of Illinois has advised that all gay couples in the state now have the option to marry, despite the state’s same-sex marriage law doesn’t come into effect until June.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan on Tuesday issued the guidance that all county clerks can now begin issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples.

She was asked by Macon County Clerk Stephen Bean what the position was.

Governor Pat Quinn backed up the guidance, saying all county clerks should promptly begin issuing licences to same-sex couples.

Despite marriage licences only being available to gay people for a week in Cook County, as of yesterday already 258 couples had applied to marry there.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the state’s equal marriage bill into law in December, however same-sex weddings were technically only set to take place from June 1, 2014 when the law takes effect.

Despite the 1 June start date, a Chicago federal judge last month ruled that the state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying was unconstitutional, opening the door for some couples to marry immediately.

As well as Cook County, a second – Champaign - also begun issuing licences, as County Clerk Gordy Hulten said if the ban “is unconstitutional in Cook County, it’s unconstitutional in Champaign County.”