The marriage equality bill goes into effect June of 2014. A federal judge ruled on Monday to allow same sex couples to get married immediately, if one of them is facing terminal illness.
As WCIA 3 Anthony Antoine tells us One couple in Central Illinois isn't wasting any time.
Jess and David Cole are getting ready to say their "I do's." In fact, they'll be one of the first to do it, right here in Central Illinois. Both men will admit its been a long hard road to get here.
"We've always kind of based our relationship on each other and not the world around us," says Jess Cole. He met his partner David back in the 1980's. Their love for each other hasn't changed, but the world has. This year Illinois made history becoming the 15th state to legalize gay marriage. It's been a long time coming for Jess Cole, "I've waited such a long time, and I cant believe its here." But that wasn't enough.
When talking about the Illinois legislature he says, "we want to pass this legislation but then were going to say you have to wait six more months well some of us don't have six more months. So I still look at our legislature in Illinois, and say were still not equal." Last Monday a federal judged ruled to allow same sex couples facing a terminal illness to get married immediately. It made all the difference for this couple.
"I did fit the category of being terminally ill because of severe heart disease," says Jess.
They got their marriage license just a few days after that ruling, but they've shared the same last name since 1983.
"I just went up there and i just asked for a name change and all that to the judge, and he just said ok we will do it. so i felt happy after that," says David.
"Because of not having a civil union and not having marriage the closest thing to that was have his name legally changed to mine," says Jess.
It's a new beginning for this couple. Jess says, "this is something that really needs to happen, just not for us but for everybody. and we really need to see ways to expedite so people can make their wish come true."
Religion plays a big role for this couple. They decided to get married in a church instead of of the judge. They're tying the knot tomorrow.
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