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Illinois Marriage Equality Suit Goes Forward

Flag_of_Illinois.svgCook County Judge Sophia Hall has cleared a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage to proceed. Judge Hall denied three of the five counts in a defense motion to dismiss the suit.

The counts that were dismissed include claims that the state’s definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman violates the state’s equal protection clause’s ban on discrimination based upon sex; the right to privacy; and the special legislation clause of the Illinois Constitution which states that the General Assembly should not pass a “special or local law when a general law is or can be made applicable.”

The remaining counts include one saying that the ban violates the due process rights of same-sex couples, and that it violates the Illinois equal protection law under discrimination based upon sexual orientation.

Both sides hailed the ruling. Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society stated that “We’re glad for the partial dismissal.” Breen claimed that the ruling “gives us the opportunity to make our case that marriage between a man and a woman has great benefits, particularly for children. The case will proceed, but this will allow us to narrow our focus.”

Given the fact that they tried to do that with the US Supreme Court and the US Courts, that seems unlikely.

Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal, which represents the couples, stated that “This is a fantastic day for the 25 couples who are plaintiffs in these two lawsuits, and also for the lesbian and gay couples and their children around the state.”

Lambda Legal and the ACLU have filed a motion for summary judgement that will be reviewed on 8 October.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of 25 same-sex couples who are challenging the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act which prohibits marriage “between 2 individuals of the same-sex.”

Illinois’ legislature is also working on passing a marriage equality law.

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