Lambda Legal and ACLU of Illinois Ask Court for Swift Ruling for Freedom To Marry
Two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois filed a motion for summary judgment in the Illinois Darby v. Orr marriage lawsuit, asking for a swift end to the harm and indignity couples face without the freedom to marry—which now includes the inability to access many federal marriage benefits.
Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director, says:
The end of DOMA creates a new urgency and same-sex couples in Illinois can’t wait any longer. One of our plaintiff couples is approaching a 50th anniversary – how much longer should they have to wait? Another is expecting a third child. Not only are these families denied dignity and respect from their state, but now they are also denied important federal marriage benefits such as access to family and medical leave if one spouse is ill, and spousal veteran’s benefits.
Today’s motion, in addition to including testimony from all 25 couples in the lawsuit, has testimony from a range of national and international experts who agree that the time to grant the freedom to marry for same-sex couples is now. The list includes authors, activists, educators and researchers involved in the history of marriage and LGBT civil rights.
Today’s motion was supported by friend-of-the-court briefs on behalf of numerous organizations including the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF), The Chicago Bar Association, Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, and The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law by attorneys Paul T. Fox, Gregory E. Ostfeld and James P. Madigan of Greenberg Traurig, LLP and on behalf of faith leaders across the state of Illinois, by attorneys Alexandra K. Block, Edward W. Feldman, and Nury A. Siekkinen of Miller Shakman & Beem, LLP, in support of marriage for same-sex couples.
“As a veteran, marriage would help resolve many of the questions I still have about my benefits and protections for Patrick,” said Jim Darby, lead plaintiff in Darby v. Orr. “I’ve been together with Patrick almost 50 years now – decades of joy and commitment surely merit the protections of marriage.”
Read the press release.
Learn more about the case.