Court rejects anti-gay groups attempt to join Lambda Legal case seeking marriage equality

Fri. November 30, 2012 11:50 AM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - The Circuit Court of Cook County Friday denied motions to intervene by a number of anti-gay groups in Darby v. Orr, Lambda Legal's case seeking the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in Illinois.

"We are now closer to the day these families can tell their stories in court, and explain in their own words why it is so hurtful and wrong to exclude them and their children ever from belonging to married families, without further unnecessary delays," Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal, said in a statement.

On May 30, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each filed lawsuits representing 25 same-sex couples from across the state of Illinois seeking the freedom to marry.

The Illinois Attorney General's office then filed papers agreeing that barring same-sex couples from marriage is unconstitutional. The Cook County Clerk and States Attorney also agreed.

County Clerks from downstate Tazewell and Effingham Count later moved to defend the marriage ban.

Soon after, the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-gay group based in Arizona, filed papers seeking to join the case on behalf of the Illinois Family Institute, a move opposed by Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois. On September 20, the Church of Christian Liberty and Grace Gospel Fellowship filed their own motion to intervene, which Lambda Legal opposed.

"The Illinois government should be treating all families fairly. The freedom to marry the one unique and irreplaceable person you love, whether it is someone of the same sex or a different sex, is an essential liberty for all of us," Taylor said.

Taylor and Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office are handling the case Darby v. Orr for Lambda Legal. They are joined by Emily Nicklin, Jordan M. Heinz and Amy Crawford of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago.

(From news release)