Eleven members of the Illinois General
Assembly have asked a judge to dismiss a case challenging the
constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.
More than two dozen gay and lesbian
couples who wish to marry in Illinois but are unable because state
law defines marriage as a heterosexual union filed the lawsuit
challenging the law in May. Nine couples are represented by the ACLU
of Illinois, while Lambda Legal is representing sixteen couples.
The Thomas More Society intervened in
the case after elected officials refused to defend the law in court.
The bipartisan group of lawmakers, led
by Senators Kirk Dillard (R-Westmont) and Bill Haine (D-Alton), last
week filed a friend of the court brief in support of the state's law.
In their brief, the legislators argue that only the General Assembly
is “empowered to make public policy” and that the “marriage
structure that helps children the most is a family headed by two
“We welcome the bipartisan support
for Illinois' marriage law offered by this respected group of
legislators,” said Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas
More Society. “They rightly point out that under our
constitutional system, the issue of how the government treats
domestic relationships is reserved to the General Assembly.”