Illinois' marriage equality act doesn't take effect for 7 months, but Federal District Judge Thomas Durkin (and I) believes the law's passage is enough to let a couple settle their affairs as they intended:
Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert, will be issued their license early by the Cook County clerk’s office because one of the women is currently battling terminal cancer, their attorneys said.
County Clerk David Orr said he would comply with the order by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Durkin
Orr said he also welcomed the ruling.
“As a supporter of same-sex marriage, I’m pleased Judge Durkin granted relief to Patricia Ewert and Vernita Gray in this difficult time,” he said in a statement.
This is the right result. The couple have a compelling reason to marry, and a delay would needlessly complicate their lives even though marriage will be generally available to all couples in just a few months. There's a little part of me that says the state marriage law should prevail here, but a bigger part of me that demands to know why the legislature put in an 8-month delay in the law's implementation. It's not like any of the county clerks has to remodel their offices to accommodate marriage equality; they just have to produce marriage licenses.
So, good on Judge Durkin. This is not the first time I've wanted to buy the man a drink. I expect it won't be the last.