The Chicago Tribune reports that passage of the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which does not go into effect until next June, could have been a case of equality delayed for Vernita Gray, who is battling terminal cancer and whose life expectancy may mean she will die before being able to marry her partner Patricia Ewert.

That very real possibility, led Gray and Ewert to court. They argued that they should be allowed to marry immediately and U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin agreed. John Knight, director of the LGBT Project of the ACLU in Illinois, applauded the ruling:

"We're very happy for this ruling for this couple," said John Knight, director of the LGBT Project of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. "We understand that this is an incredibly important right for all same-sex couples. If it had not been granted, it would … likely have been unavailable to them. Ms. Gray is simply too ill to wait until June to marry."

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