Illinois lawmakers file brief against marriage equality

Mon. September 3, 2012 10:40 AM by News Staff

Democrat Rep. Joseph Lyons joins several Republican lawmakers to block marriage equality

Chicago, IL - A group of Illinois lawmakers have filed a brief defending the constitutionality of Illinois law defining marriage as the union of husband and wife.

Led by Sens. Kirk Dillard (R-Westmont) and Bill Haine (D-Alton), 11 members of the Illinois General Assembly, including a lone Democrat, filed an amicus curiae brief to support a motion to dismiss the ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuits on behalf of 25 same-sex couples that want to marry in Illinois.

The brief asserts that the judicial branch should not rewrite the state's current marriage laws.

"Since there is no clear constitutional support for a right to same-sex marriage in Illinois, a judicial ruling that such is required in the State would clearly contravene the principal of separation of powers, giving precedence to the opinions of the judiciary over the enumerated provisions of the constitution," the brief 19-page brief reads.

The legislators also cite several sociological arguments stating that "... the marriage structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two biological parents ... ."

A motion to dismiss the ACLU and Lambda Legal lawsuits was filed by Thomas More Society attorneys, on behalf of downstate county clerks who intervened in the case after Cook County Clerk David Orr and State's Attorney Anita Alvarez have refused to defend the ban. Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall must approve the motion before it becomes part of the case.

The lawmakers joining Sens. Dillard and Haine include Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), Sen. Darrin LaHood (R-Peoria), Rep. Richard Morthland (R-Cordova), Rep. Paul Evans (R-O'Fallon), Rep. Michael Connelly (R-Naperville), Rep. David Reis (R-Sainte Marie), Rep. Joseph Lyons (D-Chicago) and Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale). They are represented by retired Cook County Chancery Court Judge, Robert V. Boharic.