A lesbian couple on Wednesday made
history as the first to marry under Illinois' new law legalizing gay
The women married in a short ceremony
inside the Chicago high-rise apartment they share, the AP reported.
Governor Pat Quinn last week signed the
measure which doesn't go into effect until June 1.
However, a judge on Monday ordered Cook
County Clerk David Orr to issue Vernita Gray, 64, and Patricia Ewert,
65, an expedited marriage license because Gray is battling a
diagnosis of terminal cancer.
The couple exchanged vows before more
than 20 friends and family.
“So happy, so incredibly happy,”
Ewert told the AP. “We feel so blessed to have this honor bestowed
upon us. I love my partner, my wife now, more every single day.”
Gray, a retired victim's advocate with
the Cook County state's attorney's office, and Ewert were among the
first couples to enter a civil union in 2011.
Lawmakers are expected to consider
legislation in January that would allow the marriage law to take
effect in February and Governor Quinn has pledged his signature.