Ill. Judge: Same-Sex Marriage Lawsuit Can Proceed

September 27, 2013

A lawsuit challenging Illinois' same-sex marriage ban can proceed in Cook County.

Circuit Judge Sophia Hall threw out a motion to dismiss the lawsuit Friday after hearing oral arguments last month.

The lawsuit involves 25 couples who filed for marriage licenses in Cook County and were denied.

Downstate clerks were allowed to defend the state's ban after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez refused to defend it.

Alvarez says the ban violates the state constitution's equal protection clause. Attorney General Lisa Madigan also has argued against the ban, saying the case brings the constitutionality of state laws into question.

Illinois approved civil unions in 2011, but attempts to legalize same-sex marriage have stalled.

Attorneys for both sides are reacting to the decision. 

Camilla Taylor is an attorney with Lambda Legal, representing 25 couples who filed for marriage licenses in Cook County and were denied. Taylor said after Friday's ruling in Chicago that it will be "a very bad day for the defendants'' when the case is decided.

Meanwhile, attorney Paul Linton represents the five downstatecounty clerks who are defending the state's ban. Linton says he's confident his clients will prevail.

And Patrick Bova of Chicago has been with his partner Jim Darby for decades.

Bova says the couple can marry elsewhere in the country but want to wed in Illinois, their home state.

Story source: AP