BREAKING: Federal Judge Orders That Illinois Same-Sex Couple Facing Terminal Illness Be Issued Marriage Licenses & Allowed To Marry Immediately
Marriage equality is now law in Illinois, but that law does not take effect until June 1, 2014. A federal judge has ruled, however, that one same-sex couple will not have to wait.
Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert have been in a committed relationship for five years, but Gray has been fighting cancer since 1996 and her life is now in serious jeopardy. Because of her terminal illness, a judge granted a restraining order ensuring she can marry now. Here’s how Gray responded to the news:
GRAY: 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.
Gray and Ewert will thus become the first same-sex couple to legally marry in Illinois.
Coming out is probably the most stressful thing about being openly gay; it’s not a one time occurrence but something I have to worry about with every new client or person I meet in my professional life and build any sort of working relationship with. They will eventually realize I’m in a relationship with a woman be it through conversations with me, meeting H when she comes to shows or the barn and seeing us together (we don’t make out in public but we will hug, hold hands and don’t seem like ‘just friends’ to anyone with eyes.. we act like any hetero couple.) or just word of mouth because of course, people talk.
I suppose I should explain what being ‘openly gay’ means to me. I don’t wear a activist t-shirts. I don’t plaster bumper stickers about equality or gay rights or rainbows on my car. H and I don’t engage in displays of PDA and I don’t broadcast my identity specifically (hi my name is TCH and I’m a lesbian!!)… but I do talk about H, I post photos of us on my instagram (that several parents of students follow as well as other equestrians my area), people see us when she comes to support me at horse shows and families have been to our home that is very obviously a one bedroom and filled with photos of us together, as a couple.
I do my best to live like I am not ashamed of being gay (because I’m not), that it’s perfectly normal (because it is) and that it we (h & me) are like any other couple…. I feel like if I don’t make a big deal of it or treat it like a shameful secret, parents, when they put 2 & 2 together about us, won’t make a big deal of it either.
I act pretty confident in all of this… but honestly, I am terrified every. single. day. that a parent will realize I’m gay and decide I’m no longer someone they want their kids around. Every new student I get I try to gauge their parents for how they might react if and when they find out. It makes me devastatingly sad that just the fact that H and I love each other isn’t enough to justify our relationship to some people, or even worse, the people who find our relationship repulsive and immoral.
I really hope that some day, in my lifetime, ‘coming out’ won’t be something to obsess and stress over because people will focus on the happiness of those in the relationship instead of their genitals.
In which kids ages 5-13 watch videos of same-sex marriage proposals and react accordingly. These kids are so much smarter and more mature than half the people we elect to run our country — even the ones who admit that they aren’t used to seeing same-sex relationships say that their own opinions shouldn’t get in the way of other people’s rights. (Plus, they’re out-of-this-world cute.) Oops I’m crying. (via the Huffington Post)