Federal Judge Rules Illinois Same-Sex Marriages May Proceed Early for Those Who Are Terminally Ill


A US District judge ruled on Monday that same-sex couples where one of the members is terminally ill may marry in Illinois before the state's marriage equality bill takes effect in June 2014, the AP reports:

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman's final order on the matter, issued at a hearing in Chicago on Monday, comes in the wake of another judge's recent ruling allowing a lesbian couple to get married last month in Illinois because one of the women is terminally ill.

Coleman's ruling in the class-action lawsuit means any couple in Illinois can apply to marry right away — via the Cook County clerk's office — if they can provide a doctor's note confirming one partner is terminally ill.

The four couples named as plaintiffs, all of whom are from Cook County, include Elvie Jordan and Challis Gibbs, who recently entered a civil union. Gibbs has cancer and may not live until June, according to the complaint.

"When I die, I want Elvie to be able to say, 'I lost my wife.' I don't want her to have to say, 'I lost my civil union partner,'" it quotes Gibbs as saying.

Vernita Gray and Pat Ewert married in late November in Illinois, the first gay couple to be granted such a dispensation in the state, making them the first to be married under the new law.

More information on the plaintiffs from Windy City Media HERE.