Illinois Sides With Gay Couples in Marriage Equality Cases, Says Ban Is Unconstitutional

BY Michelle Garcia

June 14 2012 2:54 PM ET

James Darby and Patrick Bova, the lead plaintiffs in Darby v. Orr

The Illinois attorney general's office has announced that it will concede that the state's ban on marriages for same-sex couples is unconstitutional in conjunction with two lawsuits filed against the Cook County clerk.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan will file a brief in favor of the two lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and Lambda Legal challenging the county clerk's inability to grant marriage licenses to gay couples, the Chicago Tribune reports. The cases are Lazaro and Matos v. Orr, which represents nine same-sex couples, and Darby v. Orr, which represents 16 gay and lesbian couples.

In addition to Gov. Pat Quinn, Cook County clerk David Orr, who is named as the defendant in the lawsuits, says he agrees that same-sex couples should be allowed to legally wed.

Same-sex couples in Illinois are currently able to enter into civil unions.

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