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Popular Topics in The Arts
Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators Drag Shows: Drag Queens and Female Impersonators
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Topics In the News
 
Judge Orders Expedited Marriage for Illinois Lesbian Couple
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 11/26/13
Last updated on: 11/26/13
 
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Patricia Ewert (left) and Vernita Gray on NBC Chicago.

Illinois' marriage equality law, which was signed by Governor Quinn on November 20, 2013, will not go into effect until June 2014. However, on November 25, 2013, U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin ordered Cook County, Illinois to issue a marriage license to a lesbian couple, Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert, one of whom suffers from a serious illness. The order came in response to an emergency request from Lambda Legal and the ACLU, who are pursuing a marriage equality lawsuit in Illinois. County Clerk David Orr said that he would comply with the order.

As Mary Ann Ahern reported for NBC Chicago, Vernita Gray, who suffers from bone and brain cancer, was delighted with the news. "I was stunned, and I'm still stunned," she said, "It's like Christmas, my birthday, the tooth fairy all rolled into one."

Gary and Ewert, who have been a couple for five years, plan to marry this week.

Although Illinois' law will permit same-sex couples to get marriage licenses as of June 1, 2014, Gray has been diagnosed as terminal and may not survive until June.

"Seven months means a lot to me at this point in my life," she said. "It really does. Seven days means a lot to me right now. Every day is a gift."

Lambda Legal's Camilla Taylor said, "These two women, who have loved and cared for each other in good times and bad, through sickness and through health, will get to know what it means to be married."

Orr confirmed that his office will expedite a marriage license for Gray and Taylor. He said his office routinely provides such a service to heterosexual couples in similar situations.

NBC Chicago reports on the expedited marriage license in the video below.

 
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