Couple in Lambda Legal Marriage Case Urges Illinois Lawmakers to Pass Freedom-to-Marry Bill

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January 2, 2013
Lambda Legal clients Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos with their children.

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee will hear testimony tomorrow from Lambda Legal clients Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe about why having the freedom to marry is important to their family. 

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

Live video and audio streams of the hearing will be available here beginning after 10:00 a.m. CT. The full text of Santos and Volpe's testimony is here.

Also today, the Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association released a statement in support of the marriage equality bill.

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!