CHICAGO (AP) — Gay couples who want to wed immediately in Illinois because one partner has a life-threatening illness could do so starting Monday, rather than waiting until the state’s same-sex law takes effect in June.
The change came after U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman expanded on another judge’s earlier ruling that allowed a lesbian couple to get married last month in Illinois because one of the women is terminally ill. Coleman’s decision means gay couples across the state can marry right away — through the Cook County clerk’s office — if they can provide a doctor’s note confirming the terminal illness.
Gay rights advocates welcomed Coleman’s decision to broaden the medical-emergencies exception, saying it could result in dozens of gay couples marrying soon. Illinois is 16th state to legalize gay marriage, but the same-sex law doesn’t take effect until June 1.
Several couples with one ailing partner have…
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