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Terminally Ill LGBT Activist To Marry Her Partner Before Law Goes Into Effect In Illinois

Vernita Gray

An Illinois judge has ruled that terminally ill Chicago LGBT rights activist Vernita Gray may marry her partner before the same-sex marriage law goes into effect next summer.

County Clerk David Orr said he will comply with the court’s order, handed down Monday by Judge Thomas Durkin. A lawsuit was filed Friday by Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois seeking immediate action for Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert. Gray has bone and brain cancer and is not expected to live until Illinois’ gay marriage law goes into effect June 1. Camilla Taylor of the gay rights group Lambda Legal says Gray wishes to marry the woman she loves before she dies. Orr says his office will expedite a marriage license to Gray and Taylor, adding it’s a service already granted to heterosexual couples in similar situations.

I was stunned, and I’m still stunned,” said Vernita Gray, who suffers from bone and brain cancer. “It’s like Christmas, my birthday, the tooth fairy all rolled into one.”

Congratulations and best of luck and love Vernita.

 

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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