2 Illinois clerks want to defend gay marriage ban
CHICAGO (AP) — Two county clerks from downstate Illinois have asked a judge for permission to do what Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan won't: defend the state's gay marriage ban.
The Thomas More Society late Friday filed a request on behalf of Effingham County Clerk Kerry Hirtzel and Tazewell County Clerk Christie Webb, seeking to intervene in the lawsuit filed in Cook County by 25 gay and lesbian couples. Alvarez and Madigan have said they won't defend the 16-year-old ban, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman, because they believe it violates the state constitution's equal protection clause.
Peter Breen, executive director of The Thomas More Society, a public-interest law firm that opposes gay marriage, said Hirtzel and Webb have an interest in ensuring that the law is applied uniformly across Illinois "because they are the keepers of marriage licenses."
"If the judge lets us in, we believe we have very good arguments to prevail because of the large body of case law that goes our way on it," said Breen, whose firm sought out clients to intervene in the suit. "We had notified clerks that we believe they have ... a strong interest in intervening."
Webb, a Democrat, said she's taking no position on gay marriage, but wants to ensure there's statewide uniformity on the issue. She envisions a scenario where one law would apply in Cook County and another in the rest of the state, and wants to know how to respond if someone with a marriage license in another county were to apply for one in hers.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 11434Oklahoma tornadoes: Plaza Towers Elementary School teacher shoved students into bathroom as wall collapsed
- 11103Oklahoma tornadoes: Cost, custom keep basements scarce
- 9903Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 8455Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 4574Downtown wish list includes Super Target
- 4269Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill to join Blake Shelton at "Healing in the Heartland" Oklahoma tornado benefit
- 4107OU softball: Sooners inspired by Casey Angle, run-rule Texas A&M