Illinois Court Hears Arguments in Anti-Gay Group's Effort to Join Lambda Marriage Case

Thu. September 27, 2012 3:38 PM

Chicago, IL - Today the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division heard oral arguments in a motion to intervene by the Illinois Family Institute in Darby v. Orr, Lambda Legal's case seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois. The Court decided to continue the motion pending similar requests from two Illinois churches. The next hearing date is set for November 7th.

"We have behind us long-standing precedent in Illinois, which states that someone who wants to intervene in another person's lawsuit must show more than an ideological interest or a desire to see a law upheld," said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. "The IFI has a right to hold and express its extremist views about lesbian and gay people on its own time but that does not mean it has a right to do so as a party in someone else's lawsuit."

On May 30, 2012, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each filed lawsuits representing a total of 25 same-sex couples from across the state of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry. Two days later, the Illinois Attorney General's office filed papers agreeing that barring same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional. The Cook County Clerk and States Attorney also agree that the marriage ban is unconstitutional. After the Tazewell and Effingham County Clerks moved to intervene, promising a vigorous defense of the marriage ban, the Court entered an unopposed order permitting them to enter the case as defendants. Soon after, the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-gay group based in Arizona, filed papers seeking to join the case on behalf of IFI, an organization with a history of making derogatory and untruthful statements about lesbian and gay people. Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois opposed IFI's efforts to intervene in the cases.