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Judge won't delay lawsuit over gay marriage ban

CHICAGO (AP) — A Cook County judge on Wednesday denied a request to delay action on a lawsuit seeking to overturn Illinois' ban on same-sex marriage.

The Chicago-based Thomas More Society requested the delay. The public interest law firm opposes gay marriage and wanted the lawsuit delayed pending U.S. Supreme Court action on gay marriage.

The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and New York-based Lambda Legal. It represents 25 couples who were denied marriage licenses in Cook County and challenges a state law that defines marriage as between a man and woman. Illinois has civil unions, but many couples in the lawsuits said civil unions made them feel like second-class citizens.

"We are pleased that our case will move forward and that loving, committed Illinois couples will have the chance to get to the heart of this case and explain to this Court why marriage is so important to their families," said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal.

Thomas More Society attorney Tom Brejcha said his firm isn't displeased with Wednesday's ruling and instead is looking forward to briefings on their motion to dismiss the case.

"We fully expect the motion to dismiss will be granted and that we will prevail," Brejcha said.

Cook County Prosecutor Anita Alvarez and Attorney General Lisa Madigan have refused to defend the suit in court, claiming the gay marriage ban violates the Illinois Constitution.

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