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Illinois Family Institute Aims to Defend State’s Ban on Gay Marriage

By Nottage and Ward on October 22, 2012

Two lawsuits, which were later combined into one, were filed by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois in May against Cook County, claiming the state’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. The Cook County State’s Attorney, as well as the Illinois Attorney General, were in agreement with the lawsuits and refused to defend the state ban. Two county clerks were given the right to defend the state’s marriage law in this case.

Now, according to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Family Institute, an organization that opposes gay marriage and, in fact, worked towards establishing the original ban, aims to intervene and assist in defending the ban in the absence of any state defense. An attorney working in support of the ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuit claims that the Illinois Family Institute does not represent a large enough stake in the case to actually intervene. She argues that filing a “friends of the court” brief in defense of the state law would be more appropriate, both for the Illinois Family Institute as well as any other organizations that support the current ban.

The Judge presiding over the case is taking all arguments under advisement. There is another hearing set for November 7, 2012, at which time it is likely that a decision will be made as to whether the Illinois Family Institute will be allowed to intervene.

At Nottage and Ward, our Chicago civil union attorneys recognize how difficult it is to deal with constantly evolving or imperfect laws and are committed to helping Illinois residents make the most informed decisions possible when it comes to how they choose to live with their partner. If you are considering entering into an Illinois civil union, call us today for a consultation at (312) 332-2915.

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