Let’s have a round of applause for U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin, and a congratulatory toast, plus a few buckets of tears, for Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert, who thanks to Judge Durkin became the first couple to wed under Illinois’ new law allowing same-sex marriage. The law doesn’t officially go into effect until June 1, 2014, but Durkin ordered the Cook County Clerk’s office to issue a marriage license immediately, since Gray has terminal cancer and may not live that long. She wanted to ensure that Ewert will have all of the spousal rights she’s entitled to. County Clerk David Orr complied with the order and granted the marriage license without any need for a 106-mile car chase or a SWAT team rapelling down the side of the County Building at the Richard J Daley Center, the one with the Picasso sculpture. (Hup! Hup! Hup! Hup! Hup!) Gray and Ewert were married Wednesday in a private ceremony at their home. Three cheers for judicial activism, please.
“like Christmas, my birthday, the tooth fairy all rolled into one … Seven months means a lot to me at this point in my life,” Gray said. “It really does. Seven days means a lot to me right now. Every day is a gift.”
Ewert added, “I’m just so impressed … The judge was so brave to do what he did. I am just amazed.”
And despite her illness, Gray and Ewert were on hand when Gov. Pat Quinn signed the new law into effect. It is not known whether Bishop Thomas Paprocki’s exorcism of gay marriage demons was successful in protecting the Springfield Diocese from the evils of an emotional bond between two people who love each other until the end of life, but who are in defiance of Bishop Paprocki’s preferences regarding who is allowed to be in love.
As we have noted before, the wedding did not cause the city of Chicago to be leveled by earthquakes, tornadoes, flash floods, or rains of frogs. The Chicago Cubs remain cursed; however, this is believed to have less to do with the Lord God Almighty’s displeasure with gay marriage than with man-on-goat relationships.