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Woman Dying of Cancer Given Clearance to Marry Same-Sex Partner in Emergency Case

Vernita Gray, Patricia Ewert
Vernita Gray, Facebook

It will be a bittersweet Thanksgiving for one same-sex couple.

A US District Court ruled Monday the Cook County clerk in Illinois must issue Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert a marriage license now because Gray has terminal cancer and may pass away before June 1, 2014 – that’s when same-sex couples can legally marry in the state.

Gray was overjoyed at the decision:

I have two cancers, bone and brain and I just had chemo today. I am so happy to get this news. I’m excited to be able to marry and take care of Pat, my partner and my family, should I pass.”

The couple, seen in the above photo, has been together for five years. Gray has been battling cancer since 1996.

Lambda Legal, which filed an emergency suit to help with the nuptials, said it’s only right, noting, “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.”


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