Gray v. Orr

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06/24/2017 - 12:00
06/24/2017 - 12:00
06/25/2017 (All day)

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Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert are in a loving, committed relationship, and entered into a civil union in June of 2011. In 1996, Ms. Gray was diagnosed with cancer, and despite years of treatment and therapy, the cancer spread to her bones and brain.The Illinois legislature voted in favor of the freedom to marry in November 2013 but theimplementation date was set by default for June 1, 2014. In light of Ms. Gray’s prognosis, the couple did not think they’d be able to wait almost seven months to be married.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois filed suit in a federal court to order the Cook County Clerk to immediately issue a marriage license to Ms. Gray and Ms. Ewert.


  • November 22, 2013 Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois file suit in federal court and a motion seeking an emergency marriage license for Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert
  • November 25, 2013 Victory! The court orders the Cook County clerk to issue Ms. Gray and Ms. Ewert an emergency marriage license
  • November 27, 2013 Ms. Gray and Ms. Ewert are married in their home in Chicago amongst family and friends. 

Case Information

Status: Closed
Outcome: Victory


Vernita Gray and Patricia ewert.


Lambda Legal
Camilla Taylor
Christopher Clark

Co-counsel/Cooperating Attorneys
Kirkland & Ellis and ACLU of Illinois along with  Miller, Shakman and Beem.