Today, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois each filed a lawsuit against the clerk of Cook County for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Because of Illinois’ Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the only marriage that is legally sanctioned in the state is a union between one man and one woman. Together, the two groups will represent 25 men and women who are looking for the same rights that heterosexual couples have. Both Lambda Legal and the ACLU believe that by not issuing marriage licenses, the state of Illinois is in direct violation of the equal protection and due process clauses of its constitution. They are also aware of the emotional damage that precipitates out of this basic denial of human rights. These couples are tired of defining what a civil union is to their friends, families and children. All that they want is a marriage, enough said.
As of now, the lawsuit could possibly work its way up the judicial system and even land itself in the Illinois Supreme Court. However, according to The Chicago Tribune, Illinois’ Gov. Pat Quinn formally stated that he is not against gay marriage. This could mean good things for those couples eagerly awaiting the alter, because the state may not even fight the lawsuit at all. [The Chicago Tribune]