Lambda Legal Mourns the Loss of Ron Dorfman, Chicago Journalist and Marriage Plaintiff

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Ron Dorfman married his partner of 20 years, Ken Ilio, on 12/13/13, just three days after a federal court granted emergency marriage licenses to Ron, Ken, and to all other same-sex couples who needed to marry before June because of a terminal illness.
February 12, 2014
Camilla Taylor
"Our hearts go out to Mr. Ilio for his loss."

(Chicago, IL, February 11, 2014) — Ron Dorfman, veteran Chicago journalist and activist, died yesterday in his home from heart failure. Mr. Dorfman and his husband Ken Ilio were married on December 13, 2013 after Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois filed a lawsuit on their behalf seeking immediate issuance of marriage licenses for Illinois same-sex couples where one partner has a terminal illness. In response to his passing, Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal, issued the following statement:

“Our hearts go out to Mr. Ilio for his loss. It was an honor to represent both Mr. Dorfman and Mr. Ilio in their struggle to marry before it became too late. Mr. Dorfman fought for justice and for his love for Mr. Ilio even as he was dying. With his courage, he showed us all the depth of what it means to love, and how important it is for all of us to have the freedom to marry. Through his struggle and his willingness to stand up for others, he achieved the freedom to marry not only for himself but for all other same-sex couples in Illinois facing terminal illness.”

The case is Lee v. Orr, see the complaint here:

Read Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois FAQ on Illinois marriage here:

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois are joined by attorneys Jordan Heinz, Jeremy Press and Lally Gartel at Kirkland & Ellis and Marc Beem and Kay Dawson at Miller, Shakman and Beem.


Contact Info

Erik Roldan 312-663-4413 ext. 359; Cell: 312-545-8140; Email: [email protected]