Illinois Same-Sex Couple Weds in Private Ceremony

By Marcus Riley
|  Thursday, Nov 28, 2013  |  Updated 2:44 AM CDT
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Terminally Ill Women to Marry Partner

AP

Holding their Illinois marriage license, Vernita Gray, left, and Patricia Ewert kiss after they were married by Cook County Judge Patricia Logue, the first gay marriage in Illinois, at the couple's home Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, in Chicago. U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, ordered the Cook County clerk to issue an expedited marriage license to Gray and Ewert before the state's gay marriage law takes effect in June 2014, because Gray is terminally ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Gay Couple on Expedited Marriage: "I Was Stunned"

The U.S. District Court in Chicago this week ordered the county clerk to issue an early marriage license to an Illinois same-sex couple, one of whom is terminally ill. Mary Ann Ahern exclusively talks to Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert.

Terminally Ill Women to Marry Partner

Vernita Gray has been battling cancer for 17 years. A judge said Gray and her partner, Pat Ewert, should not have to wait until June to get married, so he granted their request for an early marriage license.
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The first same-sex couple to legally get married in Illinois tied the knot on Wednesday.

Vernita Gray and Pat Ewert were married in a private ceremony attended by close friends and family, according to a news release from Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois.

The ceremony was officiated by Illinois Judge Patricia Logue.
Couple Reacts Judge's Order Permitting Expedited Marriage
Illinois same-sex couples will be allowed to legally get married on June 1, but a federal court granted Gray and Ewert an emergency marriage license Monday because Gray is terminally ill.

Gray has been fighting cancer since 1996. The couple has been in a relationship for five years.

"It's a great day for Vernita and Pat, and an historic day for Illinois, for a deserving and loving couple to have the chance to be married on an expedited basis," said John Knight of the ACLU.

One week ago, Gov. Pat Quinn signed SB10 into law, making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to allow for same-sex marriages. The District of Columbia also permits gay marriage.

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