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Orr to advise state's attorney on marriage lawsuits
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

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Cook County Clerk David Orr will advise Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez that denying same-sex couples the right to marry in Illinois is unconstitutional, he told Windy City Times. He said he expects the Alvarez to back his position.

Orr is the target of two lawsuits filed last week by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, both aimed at winning marriage equality in the state. Orr is being sued in his official capacity. If successful, the lawsuits would result in marriage equality throughout the state.

Orr said that his official position and his personal position are both the same.

"I'm for equal rights," he said. "I think the law is unconstitutional, and the sooner we get rid of it the better… that's my position in and out of court."

Orr is a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, but his office has also been the target of marriage equality protests. Orr has said that he often had a difficult time turning away same-sex couples who requested marriage certificates.

Orr said he has yet to have a significant conversation about the lawsuits with the state's attorney's office (Orr has just returned from being out of the country) but said he expects they will represent his position.

"My guess is the state's attorney will be working with me as the client, and they will be supporting the position that I take," he said.

A spokesperson for Alvarez's office declined to comment on the lawsuits. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed to intervene in favor of the lawsuits.

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