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.
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.