Judge issues stay of Illinois same-sex marriage lawsuit

Patrick Bova and Jim Darby, lead plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal suit, entered into a civil union in 2011. Staff Reports

CHICAGO — A Cook County judge has issued a temporary stay of a lawsuit that challenged Illinois‘ ban on same-sex marriage.

Judge Sophia Hall issued her order Thursday – two days after the Illinois Legislature approved a measure legalizing gay marriages.

Patrick Bova and Jim Darby, lead plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal suit, entered into a civil union in 2011.

Patrick Bova and Jim Darby, lead plaintiffs in the Lambda Legal suit, entered into a civil union in 2011.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois filed two separate lawsuits in 2012 representing 25 same-sex couples and their families after being rejected for marriage licenses at county clerk offices.

The Thomas More Society represents five county clerks who defended the ban. Their lawyers requested the case be dismissed because they said it was moot in light of the Legislature’s action.

Hall’s order says the parties will appear Nov. 14 to discuss how to proceed.

The suits — filed 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 — claimed 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.

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

The ACLU suit represents nine additional couples from around the state; the lead plaintiffs in the ACLU case are Tanya Lazaro and Elizabeth “Liz” Matos of Chicago.

A spokesman for Lambda Legal says attorneys will ask that the lawsuit be dismissed after Gov. Pat Quinn signs the gay marriage bill into law.

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