Illinois Marriage Update: Court Hears Arguments in Lambda Legal’s Lawsuit

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November 7, 2012
Jim Darby and Patrick Bova, plaintiffs in Lambda Legal's Illinois marriage case

Lambda Legal is opposing a motion by two churches to intervene in our lawsuit seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois.

The Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, heard oral arguments in a motion by the Church of Christian Liberty and Grace Gospel Fellowship.

Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project Director, says:

This case has no impact on a church’s right to exercise its religious liberty. 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.

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.

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!