Illinois

Bill allowing Ill. gay weddings to take effect sooner than June may see vote

Photos: Charles Rex Arbogast, AP
Patricia Ewert, left, and Vernita Gray, right, stand before Cook County Judge Patricia Logue, center, as she presides over their wedding ceremony. Staff Reports

CHICAGO — A same-sex couples’ expedited marriage license could mean the start of other efforts to move up the effective date of Illinois‘ new same-sex marriage law.

Photos: Charles Rex Arbogast, APPatricia Ewert, left, and Vernita Gray, right, stand before Cook County Judge Patricia Logue, center, as she presides over their wedding ceremony.

Photos: Charles Rex Arbogast, AP
Patricia Ewert, left, and Vernita Gray, right, stand before Cook County Judge Patricia Logue, center, as she presides over their wedding ceremony.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill last week that’s effective June 1. But one couple was able to get married Wednesday after a federal judge’s order allowed them to get a marriage license right away because one of the women is ill.

Vernita Gray, who is terminally ill with cancer, married her partner of five years, Patricia Ewert, on Wednesday after being granted an expedited marriage license by a federal judge’s order.

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The legal advocacy group Lambda Legal says more lawsuits could follow.

There’s also legislation pending that would allow marriages to take place right away, but its sponsor, state Sen. Don Harmon, says it’ll be a tough sell.

Approving same-sex marriage was a close vote in the Illinois state House. Still, Harmon says the law has been passed and signed by the governor, and it’s unfair to make couples wait.

The bill could come up in January when lawmakers return to Springfield.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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