IL Same-Sex Couples Facing Death Can Marry Early

None of us should have to wait, but that’s the never-ending battle, isn’t it?

Starting Monday, Illinois same-sex couples facing terminal illness can marry — nearly six months ahead of the state’s new marriage equality law taking effect, a federal judge in Chicago ruled.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman has ordered the Cook County Clerk’s office to immediately issue marriage licenses to all Illinois same-sex couples who can provide a doctor’s declaration stating that one or both of them has a life-threatening illness that would prevent them from marrying after the marriage equality law takes effect June 1.

“When you have a terminal illness, every day is significant,” Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project director for Lambda Legal, said in a statement. “Even though we know the freedom to marry is coming to Illinois, the default implementation date of the new law is too far away for these couples. While no one should be told that they cannot marry for a period of months, for couples who are dealing with a life-threatening medical condition, the delay in implementing Illinois’ marriage law could turn out to be an absolute bar to being married at all.”

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