Clerks want to defend gay marriage ban
CHICAGO – 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.”
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