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County Clerk Defends Same-Sex Marriage Ban Lawsuit

Cook County Clerk David Orr's lawyers filed a brief in defense of a lawsuit attempting to overthrow the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office is taking a stance against opponents of same-sex marriage.

Clerk Orr's lawyers filed a brief Monday in opposition to a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging Illinois' same-sex marriage ban.

Orr was the original defendant in the suit to overturn the state’s ban on gay marriage: Darby v. Orr. However, the longtime equal rights advocate, along with Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, refused to uphold state law, the Chicago Phoenix reports.

Instead, Orr sided with the 25 plaintiffs across the state—from Evanston to Rock Island, Hyde Park to Alto Pass—who were denied marriage licenses. As a result, downstate County Clerks Kerry Hirtzel and Christie Webb were given permission to intervene as defendants.

The two filed a motion to dismiss Darby v. Orr in summer of 2012. Now, Orr is striking back.

According to Orr, the same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

"Over the years, we have fought to narrow the gap between discrimination and equal rights, first with the Cook County Domestic Partnership Registry, next with gender-blind Civil Unions. But these were never permanent solutions," Orr said. "Marriage Equality is long overdue in Illinois and I look forward to issuing marriage licenses without regard to gender."

A copy of the brief is posted online. 

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