The First-Ever Same-Sex Marriage In Illinois Has Occurred: Congratulations Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert
Illinois today saw its first-ever same-sex wedding after a terminally ill lesbian was granted permission to marry months before the law goes into effect.
When Illinois became the 16th state to legalize gay marriage earlier this month, it was bittersweet for the couple, in their mid-60s. They feared that Vernita Gray might not live until the law would allow them to wed. They filed a lawsuit, and a federal judge allowed the two women, in their mid-60s, to get an expedited marriage license. “She went from one day being as full of energy as she could be to being completely bedridden,” Patricia Ewert said of her partner’s deterioration. As for waiting until June, Ewert said: “It’s a long time in the cancer world.” But the mood was cheerful and festive Wednesday; Ewert wore leopard print and Gray donned a dark leather jacket. They quick signed the papers after the ceremony. “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,” John Knight, LGBT Project Director at the ACLU of Illinois, said in a statement. “Their love and commitment to each other has been demonstrated over time, and we’re thrilled they didn’t have to wait.”