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Cook County State's Attorney Argues Gay Marriage Ban in Illinios Unconstitutional

State's Attorney Anita Alvarez says she supports lawsuits that call an Illinois ban against gay marriage unconstitutional.

Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that she supports lawsuits that question whether an Illinois ban on gay marriage is constitutional.

Two lawsuits recently brought by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois argue that Cook County Clerk David Orr discriminates against gay couples that wish to marry, but are not allowed marriage licenses, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday. Both Orr and Alvarez said they agree and also questioned whether a ban on gay marriage in Illinois is constitutional. Orr even compared the state's ban to laws that banned couples of different races from marrying.

The Chicago Tribune called it an "unprecedented turn" in the fight for marriage equality in the state, and said it was the first instance in which a state has refused to contest a lawsuit which questions the legality of a gay marriage ban.

Opponents are upset with the state's attorney’s office, WBEZ reported. The conservative Thomas Moore Society said they would be preparing legal documents to defend the law themselves. ABC7 News reported that Peter Breen of the Thomas Moore Society believes it was no coincidence that the lawsuits have been filed in Cook County, because of his expectation that politicians in Chicago will come out in support of gay marriage.

In the spirit that all politics is local, we're asking you. What do you think about Illinois ban on gay marriage? Do you think Alvarez was correct in refusing to fight the lawsuits? What does it mean in the fight for marriage equality in Illinois?

Tell us in comments.

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Kerry June 18, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Inis, i get where you are coming from. But the mere fact that it bothers two same sex adults not to be called married deprives others of their right to have only male - female marriages.
Amanda Luevano June 18, 2012 at 09:57 PM
This comment has been removed due to profanity. I realize this is a controversial issue for some, but please try to keep the conversation civil and respectful. Thanks. Amanda Luevano Editor, Lemont Patch
Alexis June 19, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Edward, I think it is pretty obvious from my post that I do not support your view that we should call it something other than marriage...that is what you call making an inference. You call it a "rant", but I call it actively supporting equality for same sex couples, and I was right on focus! By the way, calling it something other than marriage for same sex couples, as you suggest, is called: civil unions...and Edward, it isn't enough.
Alexis June 19, 2012 at 01:03 AM
PS: Edward, stop shoving your lifestyle down my throat. How does that feel?
Edward Andrysiak June 19, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Alexis...when you think past the emotion to the practical side of what you want to call your union, think about the mountain of terms and paperwork that will need to be changed to accomodate same sex "marriages". I see past just the word. Example...the word *husband* and *wife* have meaning and define and tie back to a marriage. We all understand those ties and use them as references daily in business and our personal life. Now, when two same sex "marrieds" are introducing themselves do they say this is my husband, or wife? No, they will have to say this is my life partner or significant other or something like that, other than husband or wife. So once you decide on what is appropriate to be called individually that signifes same sex relationships...that is what you should call your "marriage". Just call it something more appropriate that will work in the business and personal community and I am all for your right to enjoy your life style as others do theirs.

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