Illinois Court Hears Arguments in Churches' Effort to Join Lambda Legal Marriage Case
"The freedom to marry who you love, whether it is someone of the same sex or someone of a different sex, is not a religious issue, it's about the government treating all families fairly."
(Chicago, IL, November 7, 2012) - Today the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division heard oral arguments in a motion to intervene by the Church of Christian Liberty and Grace Gospel Fellowship in Darby v. Orr, Lambda Legal's case seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois.
"This case has no impact on a church's right to exercise its religious liberty," said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. "The freedom to marry who you love, whether it is someone of the same sex or someone of a different sex, is not a religious issue, it's about the government treating all families fairly. The couples in these cases come from all walks of life, some have children, some are senior citizens - marriage is something that will touch every aspect of their lives, but will never affect a church's ability to practice its faith."
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 anti-gay group based in Arizona, filed papers seeking to join the case on behalf of IFI, and Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois opposed IFI's efforts to intervene in the cases. On September 20, the Church of Christian Liberty and Grace Gospel Fellowship filed their own motion to intervene, which Lambda Legal opposed.
For more information about the case, visit our case page at www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/cases/darby-v-orr or to learn more about Lambda Legal's ILove marriage campaign visit: www.lambdalegal.org/ilove
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 and Amy Crawford of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago.