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Illinois marriage equality lawsuit stayed until June 2

Darby/Lazaro LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality Marriage Equality Trials

IllinoisLawsuits filed by Lambda Legal and the ACLU challenging an anti-gay marriage law in Illinois have been stayed until after the newly-passed marriage equality law takes effect. The lawsuit has been stayed until June 2, 2014. Governor Quinn is expected to sign the new law on November 20, and although it’s currently expected to take effect in June 2014, a state legislator is planning to offer an amendment which would allow couples to marry sooner.

The Windy City Times reports that the later effective date is playing a role in the lawyers’ decision to wait before dismissing the case entirely:

Proceedings in Darby vs. Orr, a lawsuit filed on behalf of local couples seeking the right to marry, have been stayed until June 2, 2014, the day after same-sex marriages will be permitted in Illinois.

Attorneys for Lambda Legal and ACLU Illinois, who represent the plaintiffs, long contended that the suit would be dropped should legislation allowing same-sex marriage be approved. But shortly after the passage of SB10 on Nov. 5, they began weighing the options of not moving to have the lawsuit immediately dismissed, since their clients were essentially still being harmed until June 1, they said.

The amendment to move up the effective date could be voted on in January, when the new legislative session opens.


  • 1. _BK_  |  November 15, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    So, does this mean we can't push through the courts for an earlier enactment of marriage equality?

  • 2. ebohlman  |  November 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    It becomes a bit tricky because the plaintiffs would have to show a significant injury caused by having to wait until June. So it would pretty much have to be a couple where one member is not expected to live until June or is facing deportation before then. Even then the relief would probably be limited to the parties in question.

  • 3. Eric  |  November 15, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Other courts have already said that denial of marriage is an irreparable harm.

  • 4. grod  |  November 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Eric, it is obvious that you were not swayed by Chicago's RC bishop F. George's pastoral letter published today in diocesan parish bulletins. Which does irreparable harm? Denial or granting of marriage? Nor likely swayed by the words of Bishop C. Silva of Hawaii,on the occasion of the signature on SB1 ….the law 'is symptomatic of a profound misunderstanding of the purpose of human sexuality'. Neither am I swayed.

  • 5. Lymis  |  November 16, 2013 at 6:09 am

    It's even trickier because today, an out of state marriage is recognized as an "everything the state can give but the name" civil union AND has federal recognition, so someone would not only have to have irreparable harm from not being married AND a legitimate reason why they couldn't go to Iowa, or another state (or even Canada) where they could marry – and why they haven't done so up until now, since out of state marriages have been recognized for state purposes as civil unions for a couple of years now.

    There's no question we deserve the right, and no question that there is harm going on, but for it to rise to the level of immediate judicial involvement between now and June (and possibly sooner), that's going to be a very limited range of people.

    And, as a practical matter, it's pretty unlikely we'd have a ruling before June, anyway, since at the current state of the suit, it's not before the state Supreme Court.

  • 6. Dr. Z  |  November 16, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    You're forgetting Social Security, which by law is governed by the state of residence not the state of celebration. I live in a strong DP state where our OOS SSM is recognized, but if something were to happen to me tomorrow my husband would STILL not qualify for my social security death benefits.

  • 7. Lymis  |  November 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    I'm not forgetting anything. I said that the courts are unlikely to see an urgent need to rule immediately, because the appeals process would drag out past June anyway, and the majority of people who feel that they have a particular need to marry can do so out of state and have it fully recognized.

    I'm not defending the situation. It outrages me. But the courts rarely move that fast and this is no exception.

  • 8. Dr. Z  |  November 16, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Fair enough. But I agree with Eric. Delay is irreparable harm.

  • 9. Pat  |  November 15, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Mmh so they are only keeping their options open just in the super unlikely case that for some strange reason, marriage equality doesnt happen on June 2?
    So basically this case is now useless, if it can't be used to speed things up and try to move the date sooner.

  • 10. karen in kalifornia  |  November 15, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    And findings and rulings from this case won't be able to be used in any other cases because basically the case has been dropped….

  • 11. ebohlman  |  November 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    They wouldn't be particularly useful anyway, since this is a state case specifically involving the Illinois state constitution and thus any findings/rulings wouldn't be applicable outside Illinois.

  • 12. Marriage Equality Round-U&hellip  |  November 16, 2013 at 6:57 am

    […] USA, Illinois: The lawsuit for marriage equality has been put on hold until June, next year, when the new law takes effect. full story […]

  • 13. Dr. Z  |  November 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Just heard on JMG that Regnerus is being called as an expert in the Michigan case. Interestingly, this comes just as UCF is being held in contempt for failing to turn over emails and other records related to the peer review process for his study. I can't wait for that cross examination.

  • 14. Sagesse  |  November 16, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    This is the opportunity to thoroughly discredit and embarrass this crew. Unfortunately, the legal team is not supported by marriage equality activist groups (HRC, Freedom to Marry, etc), and may not have the resources to demolish their credibility.

  • 15. bythesea  |  November 16, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Here is a link to the fundraising page btw:

  • 16. Dr. Z  |  November 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    I so hpoe that Boies at least collaborates with the Michigan team on the cross-X. HRC has been really smart since Griffin came aboard. Surely they will recognize the strategic value of Boies – or a Boies understudy – to cross x this witness in particular.

  • 17. Sagesse  |  November 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I think they will recognize the strategic benefit of a trial, with the opportunity to call top notch witnesses and cross examine the 'experts' manufactured by NOM for the purpose. Most of these cases, with the exception of Prop 8, are dealt with by briefs and oral argument, and the case in Virginia (with Olsen and Boies participating) is not expected to be a trial.

  • 18. Chris M.  |  November 16, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Is it possible to call the editor who published Regnerus' study to impeach Regnerus? And, while we're at it, force him to reveal who the peer reviewers were who recommended the publication of this 'study'? I'd like to know who on the other team us hiding behind the anonymity of peer review.

  • 19. Dr. Z  |  November 16, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    They should call the independent auditor who trashed the peer review process and the study, saying it never should have been published.

  • 20. hank309  |  November 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    This is crazy and downright cruel that equality doesn't take effect until June 2014. So, the marriage that my partner and I had in Iowa on November 5th won't be recognized until June. Not only does the date delay our marriage being recognized in Illinios, it also delays Social Security benefits because you have to be married for one year before you can claim Social Security spousal benefits.

  • 21. grod  |  November 17, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Hank: Congratulations! Could not the IL LGBT community mobilize to have the governor Pat Quinn or the AG announce, on the occasion of giving consent/signing the bill that beginning December 1 the state recognizes out of state marriages – mindful of the Federal/state benefits available within the tax year? Eric wrote above 'courts have already said that denial of marriage [recognition] is an irreparable harm'

  • 22. Lymis  |  November 18, 2013 at 4:56 am

    I'm not sure that it actually will delay your Social Security benefit eligibility. The recognition by Illinois doesn't start until June, but the effective date of your marriage won't change. You'll still have been married since November.

    But yes, this is one of the things where a court decision would be different from the legislative solution – if the court declared that that ban is and always was unconstitutional, then anyone who was denied state benefits of an out of state marriage could file for back restitution, just like we can refile our Federal Tax Returns because DOMA was declared unconstitutional.

  • 23. hank309  |  November 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Social Security recognizes state of residence only, if that state recognizes gay marriage. Until June 2014, Illinois recognizes out of state gay marriages as being a civil untion. This is how crazy this gets …
    If a couple in Illinois were married in Iowa in 2009, their marriage won't be recognized by Illinois until June 2014. A year later in June 2015, Social Security will then recognize them as being married for one year and eligible for spousal benefits. So, a couple that were legally married in Iowa in 2009, won't be recognized as being married by Illinois (5 years later) and Social Security ( 6 years later).
    This is the price we pay for being second class citizens. Imagine a heterosexual couple going through this nonsense and the newly weds have a baby 9 months after the wedding. That child would be illegitimate and would remain illegitimate for 5 – 6 more years until the marriage was finally recognized.

  • 24. Dr. Z  |  November 18, 2013 at 6:36 am

    That doesn't seem right to me. Illinois may not recognize your Iowa marriage until 2014, but it doesn't affect the duration of your marriage. You would still have been married since 2009.

    We recently had a similar issue. We were married in Canada in 2005, and Oregon just recognized our marriage on Oct 17 2013. But we've still been married for eight years (and together for nineteen.) That matters for purposes of filing for a tax refund.

    To those of you who are holding out getting married until it's legal in your home state – think carefully about that. Right now you're strangers to the law. The law doesn't recognize that we've been together for 19 years, only 8. You can always get married again (or renew your vows) when it's legal in your state. Our 20th anniversary will be the day after election day 2014 in Oregon, and we plan to have a big party and renew our vows then. 😀

  • 25. hank309  |  November 18, 2013 at 7:10 am

    You've probably heard about the big quarrel between the two Cheney sisters. Mary Cheney's wife (Heather Poe) posted on her facebook page, "Yes, Liz, in fifteen states and the District of Columbia you are my sister-in-law.” I think that sums it up beautifully. A couple married in Iowa in 2009 would be considered by the state of Iowa as being married for 4 years. If that couple moved to Texas, Texas would consider that couple as not being married and never being married.

  • 26. Dr. Z  |  November 18, 2013 at 7:30 am

    We recently had this issue when we went back to Oklahoma to visit my siblings. The issues started before we even got out of the airport ("This reservation says it's for you and your spouse. He can't be your spouse.") We got around the problem (in part) by staying in the huge hotel in Norman that's operated by the US Postal Service – where federal law provided us at least some legal protection.)

  • 27. JayJonson  |  November 18, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Sounds like yet another good reason not to visit Oklahoma.

  • 28. hank309  |  November 17, 2013 at 8:10 am

    thanks, Grod. I am not sure how the mobilizing would work since Quinn is signing the bill three days from now. But yes, that would be a nice surprise and a great gesture if out of state marriages were recognized December 1. I could see Illinois couples rushing over to Iowa to take advantage of the early recognition.

  • 29. grod  |  November 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Scottie Thomaston: Could Courage Campaign advance this suggestion about getting Governor P Quinn [… ] or AG Lisa Madigan [… to consider recognition of out of state marriages – announcing it at the time of signing. G.

  • 30. Stefan  |  November 17, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    In Minnesota that's exactly what happened. Out of state marriages were recognized beginning July 1st while actual marriages within the state didn't begin until August 1st.

  • 31. Straight Ally #3008  |  November 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    This is a great idea! Since so much progress now depends on court cases, it would be nice to see other states follow Oregon's lead and recognize out-of-state SSM despite the constitutional ban. I could see this happening in places like Nevada and Colorado.

  • 32. Lymis  |  November 18, 2013 at 4:59 am

    If it's actually legal to do so, that really shouldn't cause too much of a fuss, because out of state marriages have been recognized in Illinois for a couple of years now, but only as civil unions. If it's something the governor and AG are empowered to do, it would be great if they would.

    Opponents could hardly claim that it violates a strongly held state policy – the only allowed reason not to recognize out of state marriages, since the law has passed to allow them here.

  • 33. grod  |  November 18, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Lymis: Oregon recently did so despite a constitutional ban vs a DoJ directive: _
    As I understand it, IL currently does so as CU.

  • 34. grod  |  November 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Four married couples residing in Tennessee did so on 2013/10/21 via a request of the court for an injunctiion.

  • 35. hank309  |  November 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Good suggestion. I sent the Governor a request and thanks for sending that.

  • 36. JUNE VIRGO 2014 – 2&hellip  |  November 18, 2013 at 6:36 am

    […] Illinois marriage equality lawsuit stayed until June 2 | Equality On Trial […]

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