The Chicago Tribune broke the news of the lawsuit in which the ACLU of Illinois is representing 9 same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry. The Illinois law allowing civil unions for same-sex couples which was granted last year, enabled each of the plaintiff couples to obtain civil unions. While it has been a great step forward, civil unions have also limited same-sex couples from the protections and recognitions associated with marriage. The Tribune spoke with LGBT and HIV Project Director and Attorney John Knight.
Attorneys from both groups filing the lawsuits argue that rather than leveling the playing field, civil unions have served to reinforce discrimination against gay and lesbian couples.
"We've had a year of civil unions," said Knight, the ACLU attorney. "We understand and have seen and talked to a number of people about the problems with civil unions. It's as we expected. You provide a different and new and not terribly understandable relationship status, and you send a pretty loud message that gay and lesbian couples aren't good enough for the honored tradition of marriage."