|Vernita Gray (L), Patricia Ewert (R)|
Good news for Windy City gay couples. A federal judge in Illinois has declared same sex couples can start getting hitched immediately in Cook County, which includes Chicago and the surrounding area.
U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said in a ruling, filed this morning, that there is no reason for same-sex couples to have to wait until the state's marriage equality law takes effect in June to begin marrying.
"'There is no reason to delay further when no opposition has been presented to this Court and committed gay and lesbian couples have already suffered from the denial of their fundamental right to marry,' Coleman said in her ruling, which appears to only apply to Cook County, according to local news sources."
Coleman's ruling is in response to a class action lawsuit filed by Lambda Legal and the ACLU on behalf of same-sex couples in Cook County.
"Since the parties agree that marriage is a fundamental right available to all individuals and should not be denied, the focus in this case shifts from the 'we can’t wait' for terminally ill individuals to 'why should we wait' for all gay and lesbian couples that want to marry," Coleman's continued in her ruling. "To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: the time is always ripe to do right."