Couples from across Illinois Urge Passage of Marriage Fairness Law
(Springfield, IL, November 28, 2012) --Today plaintiff couples in Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr, the lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois, met with legislators to urge them to vote in favor of a bill ending the ban on marriage for same-sex couples in Illinois. The bill, House Bill 5710, The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, could be voted on by the Illinois General Assembly in January 2013.
"We want our lawmakers to know how important this is to our family," said Anne Dickey, plaintiff in Darby v. Orr. "Every day, our child feels different from his friends because Laura and I aren't allowed to get married. Whether it is through the courts or the legislature, we need the freedom to marry."
"Our family, our love and our commitment deserves the recognition and dignity of marriage," said Richard Rykhus, a plaintiff in Lazaro v. Orr. "We believe that Illinois law should recognize fully the family that we have built together."
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. In February 2012, State Representatives Greg Harris, Deborah Mell, and Kelly Cassidy filed HB 5710, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act in the Illinois General Assembly, which provides that all laws of Illinois applicable to marriage apply equally to marriages of same-sex and different-sex couples.
In Springfield today were James Darby and Patrick Bova of Chicago, Jaime Garcia and Daryl Rizzo of Chicago, Laura Hartman and Anne Dickey of Rock Island, and Hector Martinez and Bob Proctor of Peoria. Joining them were Lazaro plaintiffs Randy Walden and Robert "Bob" Carey of Springfield, Danielle Cook and Suzie Hutton of Bloomington, Richard Rykhus and Carlos Briones of Evanston, Lynn Sprout and Kathie Spegal of Champaign, Tim Kee and Rick Wade of Marion and Michelle Mascaro and Corynne Romine of Oak Park.
For more information about Lambda Legal’s case, Darby v. Orr, visit the 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.
For more information about the ACLU’s case, Lazaro v. Orr, visit the case page at http://www.aclu-il.org/lazaro-and-matos-v-orr22/. The ACLU and the ACLU of Illinois are assisted in the lawsuit by the Chicago office of Mayer Brown.