Illinois Court Hears Arguments in Antigay Group's Effort to Join Lambda Legal Marriage Case
"The Illinois Family Institute has a right to hold and express its extremist views about lesbian and gay people on its own time but that does not mean it has a right to do so as a party in someone else's lawsuit."
(Chicago, IL, September 27, 2012)—Today the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division heard oral arguments in a motion to intervene by the Illinois Family Institute in Darby v. Orr, Lambda Legal's case seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois. The Court decided to continue the motion pending similar requests from two Illinois churches. The next hearing date is set for November 7th.
"We have behind us long-standing precedent in Illinois, which states that someone who wants to intervene in another person's lawsuit must show more than an ideological interest or a desire to see a law upheld," said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. "The IFI has a right to hold and express its extremist views about lesbian and gay people on its own time but that does not mean it has a right to do so as a party in someone else’s lawsuit."
On May 30, 2012, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each filed lawsuits representing a total of 25 same-sex couples from across the state of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry. Two days later, the Illinois Attorney General's office filed papers agreeing that barring same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional. The Cook County Clerk and States Attorney also agree that the marriage ban is unconstitutional. After the Tazewell and Effingham County Clerks moved to intervene, promising a vigorous defense of the marriage ban, the Court entered an unopposed order permitting them to enter the case as defendants. Soon after, the Alliance Defending Freedom, an antigay group based in Arizona, filed papers seeking to join the case on behalf of IFI, an organization with a history of making derogatory and untruthful statements about lesbian and gay people. Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois opposed IFI's efforts to intervene in the cases.
Camilla Taylor, National Marriage Project Director and Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office are handling the case Darby v. Orr for Lambda Legal. They are joined by Emily Nicklin, Jordan M. Heinz, Amy Crawford, and Kristina Alexander of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago.
Erik Roldan 312-663-4413 ext. 359; Cell: 312-545-8140; Email: email@example.com
Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.