Same-Sex Couples in Lambda Legal and ACLU Marriage Cases Win Day in Court « American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois
In another victory on the road to the freedom to marry for thousands of gay and lesbian couples and their families, Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division today denied a motion to dismiss the two landmark cases seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois, allowing plaintiffs’ claims for violation of the fundamental right to marry, and for discrimination based on sexual orientation to go forward. Although the court dismissed the sex discrimination and other claims specific to the Illinois constitution, the plaintiffs can obtain everything they seek — a declaration that the marriage ban is unconstitutional and an order requiring the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples — through the claims that remain. Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed the cases in May of 2012. The decision today comes in response to a motion brought by interveners representing a number of downstate clerks defending the Illinois ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples. These clerks intervened after Cook County Clerk David Orr and Attorney General Lisa Madigan refused to defend the statute. The downstate clerks had asked the court to dismiss the cases without any further exploration of the constitutional questions raised by the 25 plaintiff couples represented in the lawsuit. The court rejected that argument.