Attorneys Ask For Quick Ruling In Illinois Same-Sex Marriage Ban
Twenty five same-sex couples want to see a quick verdict in their lawsuits regarding the Illinois gay marriage ban.
Attorneys representing the couples suing over the ban asked a judge Wednesday to rule through summary judgment.
Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a motion Wednesday for a judge to rule quickly in the couples’ favor.
John Knight of the ACLU of Illinois said the Supreme Court's recent DOMA ruling creates urgency for couples harmed by the exclusion of federal benefits through marriage; Illinois currently has civil unions.
“Only marriage will provide same-sex couples in Illinois all the federal protections that are available in now 13 other states and the District of Columbia- things like family medical leave, federal protections for federal employees, tax benefits,” Knight said.
The plaintiffs seeking these benefits include Jim Darby, who has been with his partner, Patrick Bova, for nearly 50 years.
Darby also served in the U.S. Navy in the Korean War and found he would not receive some veterans’ benefits for him and his partner.
“I served my country, and I come back home and I expect to have the same rights as everybody else," Darby said. "But, unfortunately, I am considered a second class citizen in my own home state. And that’s why we want to get married. I want first class, all the way.”
Darby returned safely to the states, but he found he would not be able to be buried with his spouse like other veterans upon their deaths.
The attorneys in the case say the judge could rule as soon as Aug. 6 after oral arguments, and the plaintiffs say the recent Supreme Court decision creates urgency in the matter.
The suit was filed last year by couples denied marriage licenses in Cook County.
The Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez called the marriage ban unconstitutional shortly after the original suit.
Follow Kristi Luther on Twitter: @kaluther