- Associated Press - Friday, June 26, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the United States. Illinois has allowed gay marriages since last year after state lawmakers approved them in 2013. A look at reactions to the high court’s ruling from across Illinois:

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“There’s a big old happy dance going on in heaven right now.” - Patricia Ewert of Chicago, referring to her late wife, Vernita Gray, who died of cancer several months after the couple became the first to marry under Illinois’ gay marriage law.

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“For the more than 10,000 same-sex couples married in Illinois, our marriages must now be recognized by every jurisdiction in the U.S. and accorded the same legal rights and protections.” - Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

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“This misfortune now attempts on a national basis what the state of Illinois sought to do in 2013 in attempting to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples. It was an ‘attempt’ because the state has no moral authority to change what God has created.” - Springfield Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Paprocki.

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“As Americans, we believe in human rights, civil rights and dignity. Today’s ruling recognizes that our gay friends, family members, and neighbors are deserving of the same right to commit to the one they love.” - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.

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“Finally the laws have caught up with the vast majority of individuals that believe that same-sex couples can and do lead committed and loving lives together, and thus deserve the same legal protections and responsibilities as any other married couples.” - Anthony Martinez, executive director of the Illinois LGBT civil rights advocacy organization The Civil Rights Agenda.

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“As we celebrate the fact that all Americans now have equal access to marriage, we must not forget that much work remains to be done to ensure that no one can be denied employment, housing, public accommodation, or federal benefits because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.” U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago.

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“All my brothers and sisters can go ahead and marry and choose the people they love. It truly is the land of the free.” Celebrity chef Art Smith, owner of Chicago restaurant Table 52.

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“By ruling that every American has a right to marry whomever they love regardless of where they live, today marks one of the great civil rights victories of our time. It is a victory for America’s true values of treating everyone equally under the law.” - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

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“Justice delayed is justice denied. For too long, same-sex couples in this country have had to wait: for state legislatures to pass marriage equality; for judges to declare that withholding this right was unconstitutional; and for voters to turn back anti-equality initiatives, just so they could marry the person they love.” - Cook County Clerk David Orr.

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