ILLINOIS: Two County Clerks File Motions To Defend Against Marriage Equality Suits
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan have said they want no part in defending against two lawsuits that demand marriage equality. So with the backing of an anti-gay group, two downstate county clerks have filed to intervene on behalf of Cook County, where the suits were filed.
The request to intervene in the lawsuits was quietly filed late Friday afternoon by Clerks Kerry Hirtzel, a Republican from downstate Effingham County, and Christie Webb, a Democrat from Tazewell County in central Illinois. The two lawsuits challenging Illinois' marriage law are being brought by 25 same-sex couples who were turned away when they tried to get marriage licenses from Cook County Clerk David Orr. The move to intervene is being spearheaded by the Chicago-based Thomas More Society, a conservative non-profit law group. They come just a couple of weeks after Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez announced she would not defend the state's same-sex marriage ban against the lawsuits, because she, too, thinks it violates the Illinois Constitution. In early June, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan also filed court papers indicating she would not defend the state law.Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois, who brought the suits, say they plan to go forward as planned.