Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Two Decisions Follow On Illinois Legalization Of Same-Sex Marriage

As previously reported, last month Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation legalizing same-sex marriage in the state, effective June 1, 2014. There have now been two follow-up judicial developments. As reported by Illinois Review, yesterday, with the backing of all parties, an Illinois state trial court judge dismissed as moot the complaint in Darby v. Orr, a suit filed last year by the ACLU and Lambda Legal challenging the constitutionality of Illinois' previous prohibition of same-sex marriage.

Meanwhile, in Lee v. Orr, (ND IL, Dec. 10, 2013), an Illinois federal district court issued an opinion in a class action lawsuit granting a temporary injunction allowing  individuals in same-sex relationships who need to marry before to June 1, 2014 due to a life-threatening illness of one or both parties the right to do so. The court said:
The putative subclass of medically critical plaintiffs here are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the provisions of the current Illinois law that deny them the right to marry based solely on their sexual orientation, as applied, violates their constitutional right to equal protection.
The court's decision was contingent on the parties agreeing on a satisfactory implementation method.  They have done so.  As announced by the ACLU,  the court finalized its order yesterday adopting a procedure that allows same-sex couples to marry before June 1 if they provide a doctor’s certification stating that one of them has a life-threatening illness. Still pending in the case is the broader attempt by plaintiffs to speed up the same-sex marriage implementation date for everyone.