Lambda Legal Clients Eagerly Await Illinois Vote for Freedom to Marry

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January 3, 2013
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Lambda Legal clients Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe await their turn to testify in favor of the marriage bill in the Illinois senate today.

From Reuters:

Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos' 8-year-old daughter, Ava, has learned about the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s in school.

So her school friends understand when she tells them her two moms are fighting for their civil rights to marry -- it's just hard to explain it to grown-ups sometimes, Volpe and Santos say.

"This is really for our kids," said Volpe, who along with Santos are plaintiffs in a lawsuit demanding same sex marriage in Illinois. "It's important for them to be treated fairly. We're just as much a family as any other family."

Illinois could become the next U.S. state to legalize gay marriage with a bill set to be introduced in the state Senate this week. Gay marriage supporters in Illinois say they plan to press for approval in a Democratic-majority legislature in the next few days.

Read the full article here.

Santos and Volpe are one of 16 same-sex couples in Lambda Legal's lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry in Illinois.

The full text of Santos and Volpe's testimony before the state senate is here.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois have each filed lawsuits representing a total of 25 same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Illinois. The Illinois Attorney General's office filed papers agreeing that the ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The Cook County Clerk and State's Attorney also agree that the marriage ban is unconstitutional.

After two County Clerks moved to intervene, promising a vigorous defense of the marriage ban, the Court entered an unopposed order permitting them to intervene as defendants.

Soon after, the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based antigay group, moved to intervene on behalf of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), an organization dedicated to advancing the view that gay people are sinful. IFI has a long history of making derogatory and untruthful statements about lesbian and gay people. Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois have opposed IFI's efforts to intervene. In November, a court ruled against IFI's motion.

Learn more about Lambda Legal's Illinois marriage case and meet the couples behind our lawsuit.

Do you support the freedom to marry in Illinois? Sign our petition today!