Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-01-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

State's attorney will not defend marriage ban
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times
2012-06-14

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In a major gain for LGBT marriage advocates in Illinois, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez will file a legal response in support of two lawsuits that aim to bring marriage equality to Illinois.

The filing leaves the two lawsuits virtually unchallenged by Illinois officials.

Alvarez is charged with defending Cook County Clerk David Orr in lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that claim Orr's refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is unconstitutional.

"We are in agreement with the plaintiffs that Illinois laws that prohibit same sex marriage are unconstitutional," said the state's attorney's office in a statement. "We believe the plaintiffs are correct in their assertion that the Illinois Constitution upholds marriage equality for same sex couples just as it does for opposite-sex couples."

Orr, a longtime LGBT ally, has repeatedly stated that he supports the lawsuits.

"Government should not be in the business of discriminating," Orr said at a June 14 press conference at the Daley Center.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has also filed to intervene in support of the suits, stating that the ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. As a result, no elected official who can counter the lawsuits will do so.

The two lawsuits, filed simultaneously in the Circuit Court of Cook County, represent 25 same-sex couples that tried to obtain marriage licenses from Orr's office but were denied. If successful, the suits would result in marriage equality throughout the state.

The lawsuits argue that civil unions, which began a year ago, have failed to provide same-sex couples with the same rights and symbolic meaning conferred by marriage. As a result, plaintiffs argue that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the state's equal protection clause.

"Civil unions brand these couples as worth less than other families, and children feel that," said Camilla Taylor, national marriage project director of Lambda Legal.

The lawsuits will not go unopposed, however.

Peter Breen—executive director of the Thomas More Society, a law firm that opposes same-sex marriage—said his firm will file to intervene against the lawsuits.

Breen alleged the suits were an attempt to "make an end run around the legislation" and speculated that the lawsuits were "an inside job" between LGBT organizations, Orr, Madigan and Alvarez.

Breen's firm is the same one that represented a group of Catholic charities that unsuccessfully sued the state over foster care contracts. The charities lost those contracts for refusing to place children with same-sex parents.

Breen said his firm will defend the ban because officials have failed to do so.

Reporters pressed Alvarez on the legality of refusing to fight the lawsuits, which she said had correctly interpreted the law.

Asked if the lawsuits put her in a difficult position politically, Alvarez responded that they did not.

"It's not an uncomfortable position for me to be in," she said. "It is a little unusual."

Alvarez has been vocal about LGBT rights in the past, including her support for marriage equality.

Ed Yohnka, director of communications for the ACLU of Illinois, said his organization was pleased but not surprised by the filings.

"It is not surprising that after the state's attorney and her colleagues were able to review our complaint and the Illinois Constitution, they reached the same conclusion," he said. "Most of all, we are happy that we are one day closer to winning the freedom to marry for our plaintiffs and for thousands of couples across Illinois."


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

A Love Supreme wedding celebration April 9 2017-01-19 - ( CHICAGO, IL; January 19, 2016 ): In the largest wedding celebration in the history of the hotel and the building that houses ...


Gay News

Judge: Secular celebrants can officiate marriages 2017-01-18 - A federal judge, on Jan. 4, ruled that certified secular celebrants are authorized to perform marriages in Illinois. Secular celebrants are trained by ...


Gay News

District Judge Rules Secular Celebrants Can Solemnize Marriages in Illinois 2017-01-04 - Prohibition against Center for Inquiry's Celebrants Declared Unconstitutional In a milestone victory for nonreligious Americans, a U.S. District Court judge ruled today ...


Gay News

CELEBRATIONS Hoagland-Leighton marriage 2017-01-04 - After being together for 34 years, Sarah Hoagland ( second from left ) and Anne Leighton ( shown here with friends Jackie Anderson, ...


Gay News

National roundup: Cherokees OK marriage, Pittsburgh says no, HB2 2016-12-20 - The Cherokee Nation, one of the largest registered Native American tribes in the U.S., has officially decided to recognize same-sex marriage, Bloomberg.com reported. ...


Gay News

Gay marriage proposal at Chicago Bulls game, and he said, Yes! 2016-12-20 - Jake Conrad scored an NBA Championship-worthy marriage proposal, thanks to a huge assist from the Chicago Bulls who, on Dec. 8, were playing ...


Gay News

Study looks at marriage equality and the election 2016-12-14 - A team of researchers from the West Coast, the Midwest, and the South are studying how stigma and discrimination negatively impact LBQ and ...


Gay News

No bones about love: A surprise engagement 2016-12-07 - On March 13, 2015, Bethany Minor proposed marriage to Alissa Pagels and she said "yes." On March 13, 2016, Pagels asked Minor the ...


Gay News

Class settlement proposed on health benefits for Walmart same-sex spouses 2016-12-01 - BOSTON, Dec. 2, 2016 — Former Walmart associate Jacqueline Cote and her lawyers filed a motion today asking the U.S. District Court for ...


Gay News

Rev. Greg Dell remembered 2016-11-20 - Hundreds of family and friends of the late Rev. Gregory Dell gathered at Alice Miller Chapel in Evanston Nov. 20 to pay tribute ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.