A judge has denied a request from a Christian conservative group and two churches to intervene in the defense of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Illinois' ban on gay marriage.

On Friday, Cook County Judge Sophia Hall ruled that the Illinois Family Institute, the Church of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights and Grace Gospel Fellowship in Bensenville do not have sufficient interest in the case to intervene, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Cook County state's attorney and the Illinois attorney general have refused to defend the law in court. Attorney Bryan Beauman had argued that allowing the organizations to defend the marriage law would “even the playing field.”

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.

Judge Hall agreed with plaintiffs' attorneys who said it would be more appropriate for the organizations to file “friend of the court” briefs.

Illinois currently recognizes gay couples with civil unions. Legislation which would make Illinois the 10th state to offer marriage equality was introduced in February.