Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-07-01
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 del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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 del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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

Website answers questions about marriage 2015-07-01
Forty years ago: Chicago's 1975 marriage protest 2015-07-01
Marine to be denied marriage license in San Saba County Texas 2015-06-30
Lambda Legal launches marriage tracker, online reporting website 2015-06-30
VA extends benefits to same-sex couples following supreme court ruling 2015-06-29
Supreme Court decision, Obergefell analyzed 2015-06-29
Protesters call attention to issues other than marriage 2015-06-28
LGBT advocacy groups issue guide after historic marriage ruling 2015-06-27
Marriage 'speak-out' takes place at Center 2015-06-26
Locals respond to marriage decision 2015-06-26
President and Vice President speak on marriage equality decision 2015-06-26
Supreme Court: State bans on marriage for same-sex couples unconstitutional 2015-06-26
U.S. Supreme Court backs marriage equality, groups and leaders respond 2015-06-26
Chicago celebrates high court decision for marriage equality 2015-06-26
BOOK REVIEW Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial 2015-06-24
Legal activists poised to fight back, some states face hurdles 2015-06-24
Gov. Pence to speak to Indiana Republican Party Spring Dinner 2015-06-19
Supreme Court LGBT decision to be celebrated or protested in 50+ cities 2015-06-18
Snapshot of Love: Ricketts-Skinner; Ferguson-Walsh 2015-06-17
National: Mich., N.C. laws; bar rejects trans woman; Jeb, Trump run for prez 2015-06-16
Pope Francis' asserts that kids must have opposite-sex parents 2015-06-16
However question is framed, support for same-sex marriage rising 2015-06-16
Fisher-Price, Proud Parenting Program to raise LGBT parenting visibility 2015-06-15
Jeb Bush: Where does he stand on marriage equality? 2015-06-15
NC legislature overrides Governor's veto of "Opt-Out" legislation 2015-06-12
Laura Ricketts, Brooke Skinner wed 2015-06-10
Screening of Hudson's marriage-equality video draws celebs 2015-06-09
ACLU recognizes Kirkland & Ellis in Michigan victory for gay, lesbian couples 2015-06-09
10 Chinese couples to be wed in West hollywood 2015-06-08
Equal marriage support at record high, key segments remain opposed 2015-06-08
Supreme Court: Why Abercrombie decision matters 2015-06-08
Guam Chief Judge bans enforcement of discriminatory marriage laws 2015-06-05
World news: Kazakhstan law struck down; marriage developments 2015-06-02
National: Jindal's move; Texan Rep. supports marriage; senators urge DoD Sec'y 2015-05-26
Clinton responds to Chicago couple 2015-05-24
Ireland votes yes to marriage equaliy 2015-05-23
Study: Reactions of heterosexual siblings to same-sex marriage advances 2015-05-22
Hinshaw & Culbertson hosts marriage debrief event 2015-05-19
Relationships & the Law Today: Possible Supreme Court marriage outcomes 2015-05-13
VIEWS Getting married 2015-05-13
 



Copyright © 2015 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.