Today, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall denied efforts by groups to intervene in opposition to the combined cases brought by the ACLU of Illinois and Lambda seeking the freedom to marry for same sex couples in Illinois.   The Judge ruled that the proposed interveners – the Illinois Family Institute, the Church of Christian Liberty and the Grace-Gospel Fellowship Church -- did not meet the legal standard necessary to intervene as defendants in this case.   She gave them leave instead to state their position in friend of the court briefs.  With these motions addressed, the court now will move forward to consider the arguments raised by the current defendants (five downstate county clerks) to dismiss the case.  The ACLU of Illinois will vigorously oppose this motion to dismiss.   The following can be attributed to John Knight, Director of the LGBT Rights Project at the ACLU of Illinois:

The judge’s ruling this morning denying these intervention efforts is not surprising.   Simply being opposed to or supportive of a particular law is not an adequate reason to join litigation.   We now look forward to making our case to the court to show that the denial of our clients’ freedom to marry violates the Illinois Constitution and must end.  Our evidence will show that there simply is no possible reason to justify the continuation of this discriminatory exclusion of same-sex couples and their families from marriage. .  Our clients share the love and commitment that they should be able to celebrate through marriage. Simply put, it is time for the State of Illinois to end its outdated ban against allowing same-sex couples the recognition, status, and security that comes only with marriage.

Read more about Lazaro and Matos v. Orr