A terminally ill woman in Illinois has been granted an early license to wed her partner seven months before the state’s same-sex marriage laws come into effect.
US district judge Thomas Durkin on Monday ordered the Cook County clerk to issue an expedited marriage license to Chicago couple Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert.
Ms Gray is currently terminally ill with cancer, which has spread to her bones and brain.
Doctors have told her that she is not expected to live until June.
Cook County Clerk David Orr, who supported equal marriage, said he would comply with the judge’s order.
In a statement he said: “My office will comply with the judge’s orders and expedite a marriage license to this couple – a service already granted to heterosexual couples in similar situations.”
Ms Ewert will be guaranteed protection under the ruling if Ms Gray dies. The couple plan to marry next week.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, Ms Gray said: “The fight for same-sex marriage and benefits is very real to me because if something should happen to me, I want her to get the benefits of my hard work.”
Illinois is the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage.