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Illinois court hears arguments in Lambda Legal marriage lawsuit

CHICAGO - The Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, heard oral arguments today on a motion seeking to dismiss Darby v. Orr and Lazarro v. Orr, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois' lawsuits seeking marriage for same-sex couples in Illinois.

Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project director for Lambda Legal, argued before the court today. She had this to say:

"Today we urged the court to ensure that same-sex couples and their families get their day in court. We put forward the severe harms experienced by the 25 plaintiff couples and the thousands of same-sex couples and their children in Illinois every day because their government marks them as unequal. The recent Supreme Court ruling striking down DOMA has made the freedom to marry even more urgent in Illinois than it was before because Illinois now stands between these families and a host of federal protections, benefits, rights and responsibilities. Civil unions do not fully access the federal safety net that marriage provides, and Illinois families can’t wait any longer."

Camilla Taylor, National Marriage Project director, and Christopher Clark, senior staff attorney in Lambda Legal's Midwest Regional Office, are handling the case Darby v. Orr for Lambda Legal.

John Knight, Harvey Grossman and Karen Sheley are handling the case Lazaro v. Orr for the ACLU of Illinois. They are joined by Emily Nicklin, Jordan M. Heinz, Amy Crawford and Kate Guilfoyle of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago and Jeffrey W. Sarles, Richard F. Bulger, Aaron S. Chait, Gretchen E. Helfrich, Kristin W. Silverman of Mayer Brown.

The Illinois Legislature adjourned earlier this year without passing a same-gender marriage bill. The state Senate had approved the bill, which stalled in the lower house.