Illinois AG Says Gay Marriage Ban Unconstitutional


Illinois’ Attorney General’s office alongside the Cook County office have both conceded the state’s ban on gay marriage is unlawful.

This comes as the state faces two separate lawsuits challenging the statutory prohibition on same-sex marriage.

Reports the Chicago Tribune:

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office concedes in a court filing today that the state’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional, according to a spokeswoman.

Two recent lawsuits against Cook County Clerk David Orr claim that not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Illinois Constitution.

The state’s attorney’s response, filed today, agrees with that claim.

“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,” spokeswoman Sally Daly said in an email.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office has also said it plans to file a brief in support of the lawsuits, and Gov. Pat Quinn has voiced his support for gay marriage.

The cases are the Lazaro and Matos v. Orr suit, which represents nine same-sex couples, and Darby v. Orr, which represents 16 gay and lesbian couples. The suits were filed late last month and the couples are represented by the ACLU and Lambda Legal respectively, who are working separately in this instance.

Currently, Illinois allows for civil unions, however the couples are challenging that this recognition is only partial and that they have been denied the full institution of civil marriage against Illinois’ Constitution.

A motion to have the two lawsuits combined will be heard later this month.


Related Reading:

Trans Woman Sues For Alleged Police Harassment

Diocese Puts Religious Dogma Before Helping the Homeless

Illinois Lawmakers Introduce Gay Marriage Legislation


Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to netsu.

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James F.
James Foxvog3 years ago

Marriage: the institution whereby men and women are joined in a special kind of social and legal dependence for the purpose of founding and maintaining a family. -- Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary
Equality means all have an equal right to marry, not that "marriage" should mean something else. I'm ready to listen to what the proposed new definition of "marriage" is.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley3 years ago


John B.
John B.3 years ago

Good for the State of Illinois. Marriage equality continues to advance. Thanks Steve for the article.

Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas3 years ago

Sandy E. said: Okay enough already! Let's save the country...being gay isn't going to do it...being married isn't going to do it...BEING AN AMERICAN WILL! Think American first!

sandy e. you are right, being gay isn't gonna save this country nor will being married or your pseudo patriotism.
i don't care how many flags you wave or how many patriotic slogans you use, as long as there are so called americans like you that believe they have the right to vote to take away the rights and deny equality to a minority segment of our society, we will never save this country. as long as we refuse to gaurantee freedom and equality to all of our citizens, there is no hope for saving the country.
i agree with you sandy, we do need to "think american first" and we should start by thinking of the american constitution and all of the civil rights legislation and get the bible out of the debate.
OK ENOUGH ALREADY. lets put an end to this. give the LGBT communtity full rights and equality and move on to saving this country.
being gay isn't going to save this country. being gay isn't going to harm this country either. besides, gays pay taxes.

David Johnson
David Johnson3 years ago

Thank you Lisa Madigan! I really never believed,in my lifetime, that there would be the possiblity that I could marry my partner. In 2000 we had a symbolic "Holy Union" in Key West. In 2011 we had the Illinois "Civil Union" . Now the very real possibility exists that we could "legally" marry. My husand snarkily says that he supposes that gay couples have to have all these ceremonies because it doesn't take the first time like it does for heteros. An interesting aside...After our Civil Union ceremony last year, we were signing and filing the documents. The County Clerk came out and congratulated us. He said that he expected full marriage equality in "the very near future". At this stage in my life, I certainly hope so.

Joe R.
Joe R.3 years ago

Eventually, justice will prevail.

Nadine Hudak
Nadine H.3 years ago


Nadine Hudak
Nadine H.3 years ago


Carl Oerke
Carl O.3 years ago

You mean that there is someone out there in authority who is intelligent enough to understand that denying some rights is unconstitutional. That may start to restore my faith in my fellow man.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago