Cook County judge hears motion in gay marriage case

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A Cook County Circuit Court judge has heard arguments on the Illinois Family Institute’s motion to intervene in Darby v. Orr, the case challenging Illinois’ anti-gay marriage law.

Lambda Legal filed the case on behalf of same-sex couples seeking to marry in the state.

The judge continued the IFI’s motion until November because two Illinois churches also want to intervene to defend a law that both the state attorney general and Cook County clerk have said is unconstitutional.

Lambda objects to the intervention. "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 Lambda’s Camilla Taylor. “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.”

In May, Lambda and the ACLU of Illinois both filed lawsuits seeking marriage equality. Combined, there are 25 same-sex couples acting as plaintiffs in the suits.

Several days after the filings, both the Cook County clerk and Illinois attorney general said the state ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.

Clerks from Tazewell and Effingham counties motioned to intervene, and were granted status as defendants in the case.

Then the IFI, represented by the Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom, filed its motion to intervene.

Lambda and the ACLU oppose the motion.