Judge to rule on challenge to Illinois gay marriage ban in September

Wed. August 7, 2013 10:16 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Chicago, IL - After hearing nearly two hours of oral arguments on Tuesday, Cook County Circuit Judge Sophia Hall said that she'll rule on a case challenging Illinois' gay marriage ban on September 27.

The case involves 25 gay and lesbian couples who requested marriage licenses but were denied.

The state currently recognizes gay couples with civil unions. A marriage bill stalled in the House after passage in the Senate earlier this year. The measure's House sponsor has said that he will call the measure for a vote in November.

The plaintiffs are represented by Lambda Legal and the Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), whose lawyers asked Judge Hall for summary judgment in the case soon after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

(Related: Illinois gay marriage opponents argue gay couples should marry elsewhere.)

The socially conservative Thomas More Society intervened to defend the state's marriage laws after state officials refused to do so.

"Today, the other side argued that because any two people can raise a child as well as that child's own married biological parents, marriage must be redefined to include any two people," Peter Breen, vice president & senior counsel at Thomas More Society, said in a written statement following oral arguments. "Illinois's definition of marriage as between one man and one woman is constitutionally grounded in our shared cultural experience, common sense, and the great weight of law. We are confident in the strength of our legal arguments that there is nothing unconstitutional about traditional marriage."

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