Constitutional Law

Who Will Defend Illinois' Gay Marriage Ban? State and Local Prosecutors Support Lambda

The prosecutor for the county that includes Chicago has conceded that Illinois’ ban on gay marriages violates the state constitution.

The concession by Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez leaves defense of the law to any outside group that can prove standing, the Chicago Tribune reports. The American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal have filed suits challenging the law, but neither Alvarez nor Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is prepared to defend it. Gov. Pat Quinn also opposes the law, as does Cook County Clerk David Orr, a defendant in the litigation.

Alvarez and Orr announced their stance at a news conference, according to the Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. “We do believe the equal protection clause of the Illinois Constitution is just that,” Alvarez said. “It protects everybody equally.”

The Thomas More Society is seeking permission to defend the law.

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