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Lambda Legal, ACLU announce lawsuits seeking marriage equality in Illinois

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois on Wednesday filed two separate lawsuits representing 25 same-sex couples and their families seeking the freedom to marry in Illinois.

The suits — which come nearly a year after the state’s civil union law took effect, and just and just two weeks after President Barack Obama from Illinois said he supported marriage equality for same sex couples — argue that prohibiting same-sex couples and their children from marriage is a violation of the Illinois Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and due process.

Lead plantiffs Patrick Bova and Jim Darby, who entered into a civil union in 2011.

Jim Darby and Patrick Bova of Chicago, have been together for over 48 years, and are the lead plantiffs in the Lamba Legal suit, which represents 16 same-sex couples and their families.

Darby, who worked in the stockyards before enlisting to fight in the Korean War, and Bova, a librarian, met on the south side of Chicago and fell in love in 1963, and have been in a committed relationship ever since.

“After 48 years together, we know very well what it means to love, honor and cherish,” said Darby. “I have lived in Illinois all my life and I want to marry Patrick here.”

Althouhgh they entered into a civil union in 2011, “a civil union doesn’t reflect what we mean to each other,” said Darby.

Lambda Legal has released this video introducing the couples and their families who are participating as plaintiffs in their case:

Camilla Taylor, Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project Director, who led the litigation effort and won marriage for same-sex couples in Iowa, said “the experiences of the couples and the children in this suit show the hurt, confusion, and private bias that they have encountered as they have lived their lives.”

“These couples and their children share a dream of being part of a married family. By excluding them from marriage, and relegating them to civil unions, our government has marked them as different and worth less than other Illinois families—and that is exactly how others treat them. They have suffered disrespect in schools, workplaces, hospitals, and in their everyday interactions with government for long enough. They should have the freedom to marry — it’s just time.”

“Civil unions do not satisfy Illinois’ guarantee of equality because they single out a group of people, treat them differently under the law, and deny them the fundamental right to marry,” said Lambda Legal Senior Staff Attorney Christopher Clark.

“We are taking this case to court because, in our democracy, it is the job of our courts to uphold the Constitution and protect individual freedom,” Clark said.

The lead plaintiffs in the ACLU case are Tanya Lazaro and Elizabeth “Liz” Matos of Chicago.

Lazaro is a Chicago Police Department Detective and Matos works as a system analyst for a trading firm in downtown Chicago, and have a two-year-old girl, and just recently had a second girl, Sophia. After Illinois adopted civil unions, the couple rejected the idea.

“Our relationship is not about some legal benefits and protections, but about love for one another,” said Lazaro. “We love each other; we are committed to one another. Anything short of marriage does not recognize that love and commitment.”

The ACLU suit represents eight additional couples from around the state, who are profiled here:

Profiles on each of the couples taking part in the Lambda Legal suit are here; couples taking part in the ACLU lawsuit are profiled here.

Lambda Legal has marriage cases already pending in New Jersey and Nevada.

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4 more reader comments:

  1. Homosexuality and the Truth

    There has been so much controversy about this country’s president supporting homosexuality, I mean really, is that a big surprise? It is a bit disconcerting that this is our first sitting president to support this agenda. We are in a society and generation that does not want absolutes; instead they want to live in the gray. Regardless of the opposition, there are absolutes and there is only one truth and that statement will not set well with some reading this. There are things in this life in which it really matters little whether or not we agree with them, they will occur and they are absolutes. For instance, every living being will die at one point. Our bodies must have blood and oxygen to survive and cows go moo.
    There is another absolute and regardless of theory, intellect, what we like or don’t like; there is only One God and He did create everything we know and see. He also gave us His directions to live by and they are found in the Book He left us called the Bible; i.e.. Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.
    In this Book it warns that there will be those that call evil good and good evil. It also tells us that homosexuality has been around since the beginning of time. What it clearly states about it is that it is called detestable to God.

    Lev 18:22 “‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.”
    Lev 20:13 “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads.”

    Obviously we do not follow the Old Testament laws and put people to death for these things but the point is to show you the severity of how God viewed this.

    Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

    These are not the only scriptures that deal with the subject, but they are the most clear cut and detailed. There is no way to rationalize what is being said in these verses, there is no way to make it more acceptable. It is what it is and it says what it says.
    Before opponents jump on this and start stating that “all” sin is bad to God, you are correct, it is. However the difference is that this particular sin was singled out by God and it was pointed out because it was of great societal danger. Case in point: Murder is a sin and if a murderer claimed that he was “Born” a murderer 99% of people would say, “Yeah right!” Now let’s take that a step further, what if this (born that way) murderer started a crusade to get minority status and equal rights and have a month where they were celebrated, and tried to force their views on the rest of society? What if he organized with other murderers and convinced them they were born that way so they should be accepted in society and in fact granted all the accolades of everyone else? Maybe if we just taught about them in schools and indoctrinated our young children to believe this is just a normal thing…maybe if we convince the rest of society that if you don’t accept our views then you are just being a bigot!
    Sounds crazy right? Unfortunately to some it doesn’t. Regardless, there have always been Sodomy laws in every city, state and this country and others for a reason. Where do you think that law came from? It came from Sodom and Gomorrah in the book of Genesis where homosexuality was forced on people and ran rampant.

    So what do we do? First of all we realize that according to the scripture above that this lifestyle is a result of “deception” and they that “Choose” this lifestyle are being deceived. We expose the lie and deception and do it in the same kind of love and gentleness Jesus would have. We must defend and stand up for the truth and quit allowing society to dictate what parts are acceptable and which ones are not. We must be the light in this dark society and world and live what we say we believe. We should never apologize for standing for truth and never cower to societal pressures.
    We are the ‘Salt’ and if we lose our saltiness then what good are we? To those that claim to be a follower of Jesus, either we are or we aren’t. If you aren’t then take off all the “I am second” bracelets, t-shirts, and bumper stickers. If you are a follower “truly” then there will be little need to advertise that we believe and live “Truth.”

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 4:13pm

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 9:28pm
  3. Read that comment in any fashion you want.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 9:28pm
  4. Screw the Bible…it was written by men who “believed” they were being led by “God.” I’m considering writing my own bible with a group of women who believe that we follow an invisible dragon that lives in the back of my car.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 10:31pm