Lambda Legal, ACLU file Illinois lawsuits for equal marriage rights

Wed. May 30, 2012 10:44 AM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - The ACLU and Lambda Legal Wednesday filed two separate lawsuits in Illinois to demand legal marriage rights for same-sex couples. The coordinated lawsuits were announced during simultaneous press conferences in Springfield and Chicago.

The May 30 lawsuits, representing 25 gay and lesbian couples from across Illinois, make some of the same arguments used in Iowa and California.

Lambda Legal, which also has marriage equality lawsuits pending in New Jersey and Nevada, Wednesday said their lawsuit highlights the negative experiences of 16 Illinois couples joined in civil unions.

Civil unions were made legal in Illinois last year after Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL) signed the Illinois Religious Freedom and Protection and Civil Union Act into law.

Critics have argued civil unions have not proven to be the answer for LGBT families in Illinois, who need the protections that only marriage can provide.

In May, Quinn joined President Obama in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington state as well as the District of Columbia. will provide updates.