Marriage Equality Arrives Early in Chicagoland! - Gay City News | Gay City News

Marriage Equality Arrives Early in Chicagoland!


US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. | LAW.UCHICAGO.EDU

US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman. | LAW.UCHICAGO.EDU

BY ARTHUR S. LEONARD | A federal judge who ruled in December that the Cook County clerk could not delay issuing marriage licenses until Illinois’ marriage equality law takes effect in June in cases where one of the intended spouses was critically ill has moved the situation there an important step further.

On February 21, District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled that the clerk, who serves the city of Chicago and several million more suburbanites, must implement the new law immediately for all same-sex couples seeking a license.

David Orr, the county clerk and a strong supporter of same-sex marriage, quickly announced that the downtown Chicago Bureau of Vital Records would remain open two hours longer that day to accommodate expected long lines. Licensing will become available countywide on February 24.

The Illinois Legislature gave final approval to the state’s marriage equality bill on November 5 of last year, but since the action did not take place during its regular session and the measure did not win three-fifths approval, it could not go into effect until June 1 of this year.

After Democratic Governor Pat Quinn signed the marriage law, Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, which had been collaborating on marriage equality litigation in Illinois, went into federal court on behalf of Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert, seeking an order compelling the Cook County clerk to issue a marriage license for the couple given Gray’s fragile health and likelihood she would not survive until June 1. The ability of a couple in their situation to marry is significant both in emotional terms and with regard to the potential rights, survivor benefits, and inheritance tax liability of the widow or widower. US District Judge Thomas M. Durkin on November 25 ordered Orr to issue Gray and Ewert a marriage license.

The two legal groups next filed another case seeking to have the relief won by Gray and Ewert extended to any other couple in which one partner faced a life-threatening condition. That relief was granted by Judge Coleman on December 10. Since that time, at least one of the new spouses among the couples allowed the freedom to marry has passed away.

On December 24, Lambda Legal and the ACLU made the next logical move, asking Coleman, on behalf of a new set of plaintiffs, to order the Cook County clerk to ignore the June 1 implementation date and begin issuing licenses at once to any qualified same-sex couple seeking one.

“There is no dispute here that the ban on same-sex marriage violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and infringes on the plaintiffs’ fundamental right to marry,” Coleman wrote in her opinion in the latest case, pointing out that both the county clerk and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan hold that same view. “Since the parties agree that marriage is a fundamental right available to all individuals and should not be denied, the focus in this case shifts from the ‘we can’t wait’ for terminally ill individuals to ‘why should we wait’ for all gay and lesbian couples that want to marry.”

Quoting from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Coleman added, “The time is always ripe to do right.”

She noted that “the public policy of this State has been duly amended to reflect” the conclusion that “marriage is a fundamental right to be equally enjoyed by all individuals of consenting age regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation.”

However, given that the only defendant in the suit she ruled on was the Cook County clerk, Coleman wrote, “this finding can only apply to Cook County based upon the posture of the lawsuit.”

Though roughly two-thirds of Illinois residents live in the Chicago metropolitan area and so can easily access Cook County clerk’s offices, the distance presents some hardship for those in central and southern Illinois. It’s unclear how much success Lambda, the ACLU, and other advocates –– who filed suit only against a marriage equality-friendly county clerk –– will have in persuading clerks in more conservative parts of the state to accept the constitutional findings of Coleman’s order and begin issuing licenses on their own.

Coleman is a former Illinois state appellate judge and has sat on the federal bench since 2010 after her appointment by President Barack Obama.

32 Responses to Marriage Equality Arrives Early in Chicagoland!

  1. Sports Coupon May 5, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    its about time

  2. Sarkari Naukri September 19, 2015 at 5:38 am

    ARTHUR S. LEONARD you have written a great post.

  3. Apk App Market April 18, 2016 at 7:27 am

    so nice

  4. robinsh357 April 21, 2016 at 7:52 am

    This is the era of INTERNET and in this era there is nothing could be stopped from reaching to anywhere in the world and that's why I would like you to check the government jobs 2016 specially in India, for the Indians.

  5. Shahidkapoor October 22, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Great post! I am actually getting ready to go across, this post is very informative.

    • beanrioz November 13, 2016 at 1:59 pm

      This is the new world where internet plays and important role 192.168.l.l You are right marriages equality arrives at the early chicagoland. Thanks for the news.

  6. gabbar bhaijaan December 10, 2016 at 7:02 am

    "The public policy of this State has been duly amended to reflect" superb quote- new years eve quotes friends

  7. gabbar bhaijaan December 10, 2016 at 7:02 am

    One more thing love is – best wishes and merry christmas and new year and christmas greeting cards

  8. New Year Wishes December 23, 2016 at 5:43 am

    Nice and superb news you have there.

  9. jee main results December 28, 2016 at 5:39 am

    awesome post brother

  10. Basu Batra May 15, 2017 at 1:34 am

    Thanks for this info. Keep up the neat work. I'll be returning often thanks for sharing…
    How to Check RRB Patna NTPC Result 2017

  11. Lily Roy May 22, 2017 at 6:10 am

    I love it. I hope that more and more Blogger will use this feature in the future, because it just makes the internet better I think!

    Australia vs Pakistan 4th ODI Score, Ball by Ball Live Commentary
    ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Tickets Online

  12. mattis law September 8, 2017 at 7:57 am

    We offer a complete range of legal services for individuals, families, and businesses of all sizes. If you need Mattis law to represent you in any of family matters, Criminal issues, real estate transactions you will find that we use fresh and effective approach.

    Mattis Law Professional Corporation offers services in North York. We are one of the Best Criminal Lawyer North York. If you are facing any of criminal issues and not getting any effective solutions then approach to Mattis law professional.

    Every family matter is different so we need a different approach. We are family lawyer North York. Our team of experts has advance knowledge of family law. We are skilled Divorce Lawyer North York.

    Our Real Estate Lawyer North York can easily close you're any real estate transaction. We can help you in any of real estate matter whether it's buying, selling, tenant issues or mortgages.

    So don’t give up just give one call to us we will find a solution for your situation and you can come back to your normal life.

  13. Rosh Hashanah September 8, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    If you are looking top Rush Hashanah Wishes 2017 then visit these link one by one and do share with your lovable friends:-
    Rosh Hashanah 2017
    Rosh Hashanah Greeting Cards 2017
    Rosh Hashanah Messages 2017
    Rosh Hashanah Free Images 2017

  14. Renewiderm Review November 28, 2017 at 3:30 am

    It is a product of Renewiderm Review,a moisturising cream aimed at eliminating
    fine lines and wrinkles from your skin by the production of collagen molecules under your skin.

  15. The Lost Ways November 29, 2017 at 4:01 am

    The Lost Ways can be considered as one of the best survival guides available for the modern world people.

  16. debramurugun December 5, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Let's dive into the world of 15 Minute Manifestation for a moment. That word carries a lot of stigma these days. Skeptics will automatically resign.

  17. yash December 5, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Digi Asap
    is live to discuss about fake followers of Rahul Gandhi

  18. Manifestation December 6, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Manifestation Miracle
    is a self-development course, it's not a course that will teach you how to make an online business.

  19. tebd December 6, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Flat belly detox
    recipes are good for your liver,

    metabolism, and so much more.

  20. MichealEdwards December 6, 2017 at 6:39 am

    Now find best malls of delhi near by you.

  21. MichealEdwards December 6, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Now find best malls of delhi near by you.

  22. John December 11, 2017 at 12:27 am

    Download free printable 2018 yearly calendar templates with the US holidays in editable Word format. 2018 usa calendar The biggest collection of blank templates for 2018 available.

  23. Nomi December 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing ..! Merry Christmas 2017 Wishes Really love..

  24. Bitcoin March 9, 2018 at 6:13 am

    I read it and i am totally amazed.

    Digital coin

  25. Pohela Boishakh 2018 March 26, 2018 at 10:29 am

    I would like to thanks for the efforts you have made in writing this text. i am hoping the equal pleasant paintings from you inside the future as properly. Thank you
    Also visit my website for Pohela Boishakh 2018 for Bengali New Year 2018 Celebration.Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine − = six