Vernita Gray, activist and one half of Illinois’ first same-sex couple to legally marry in the state has died.

Gray succumbed to a long battle with brain and bone cancer. She was 65. 

From NBC Chicago:

Gray was with her wife, Pat Ewert, and had been visited by family and friends in recent weeks, according to the Windy City Times, which first reported her passing.

Gray and Ewert were legally married in November after winning a court battle to expedite their marriage.

Gov. Pat Quinn just a week earlier had signed the bill allowing same sex marriage into law but it wasn’t slated to take effect until June 1, 2014. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Durkin ordered the Cook County Clerk’s office to grant the couple’s license early because of Gray’s failing health.

Read more at NBC Chicago

Gray’s career in activism spanned more than 30 years. Click here to view a comprehensive timeline of her life and career.

Rest in peace Mrs. Gray. 

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