The Beautiful Reason Why Illinois Is Letting a Lesbian Couple Marry 7 Months Early

A very special exception

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Participants carry a large rainbow flag towards the U.S. Capitol during a gay rights demonstration in Washington October 11, 2009. Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) said Sunday he expects President Barack Obama to keep a renewed vow to end discrimination against gays in the military, but that Obama should do so with the support of the Pentagon. REUTERS/Molly Riley (UNITED STATES MILITARY CONFLICT POLITICS) - RTXPJMQ

Illinois’ new legislation allowing gay couples to legally marry won’t go into effect until June for most residents, but the state is making an exception to fulfill a dying woman’s final wish.

Chicago resident Vernita Gray, 64, has terminal breast cancer, and according to her attorney, her final wish is to legally marry her partner, Patricia Ewart.

The couple has been together five years and already has a civil union.

After receiving a petition to expedite the marriage filed by Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois, a U.S. District Court in Chicago ordered Cook County’s to issue the license seven months early Monday.

“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,” said Lambda Legal’s Camilla Taylor.

Illinois is the 16th state to legalize gay marriage.

[Chicago Tribune]