Terminally Ill Woman Gets Early Marriage in Illinois

Vernita-Gray-Patricia-EwertIs there any logic whatsoever to the very long wait for marriage equality in Illinois? Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill last week, but the state wants couples to wait seven months before marriages can start. Seven months! Come on.

We’re not just being impatient here. There are real-life consequences to forcing couples to wait. Some might not be able to make it. Case in point: Vernita Grey and Patricia Ewert, a lesbian couple in Cook County. Vernita has multiple cancers and might not make it to June. Her family needs to protection of marriage now.

The good news: a federal judge has ordered the county to issue that license ahead of schedule. So Vernita and Patricia will get the legal protection they need, thanks to the intervention of Lambda Legal and the ACLU.

But they’re not the only people facing terminal illness in the state of Illinois right now. For every legal victory, there are plenty of other couples who can’t afford to wait.

Fortunately, Senator Don Harmon has proposed a bill that would advance the start date, but the legislature can’t consider it until the beginning of February. So if you’re sick and in love, you’ll just have to cross your fingers for a few more months.

Photo credit: NBC Chicago