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*** UPDATED WITH LIVE COVERAGE *** In other courtroom news…

Friday, Sep 27, 2013

* WGN

A Cook County judge is expected to make a ruling today, on whether a same sex marriage ban in Illinois is constitutional.

A lawsuit seeking to legalize same sex marriage got opposition from five downstate county clerks.

Twenty-five gay couples initiated the case because they want the legal right to marry. Cook County’s top prosecutor and the Illinois Attorney General say the ban violates the state constitution.

The hearing begins at 11 o’clock.

Looks like a busy Friday.

* Meanwhile, the Catholic Conference of Illinois is gearing up. From a press release

The Catholic Conference of Illinois is promoting a “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” scheduled for Wed., Oct. 23 at the Capitol in Springfield.

Efforts to change the state’s legal definition of marriage from “between a man and a woman” to “between two persons” dominated the legislative session last year.

Senate Bill 10 passed the Senate in February, but was not called for a vote in the House by the May 31 deadline because it lacked the votes needed for passage.

The legislature will meet for its fall session on Oct. 22-24, and Nov. 5-7. There is always the possibility that SB 10 could be called for a vote in the House.

That’s why the Catholic Conference of Illinois is promoting a “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” on Wed., Oct. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Capitol in Springfield. Download a flier about the day here. […]

The “Defend Marriage Lobby Day” is sponsored by the Illinois Family Institute.

*** UPDATE *** Tony Arnold and I presume others will be covering the 11 o’clock hearing. Here’s a ScribbleLive feed

- Posted by Rich Miller        

22 Comments
  1. - SpfldCatholic - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:03 am:

    I’d suggest the Catholic Conference of Illinois listen to Pope Francis.


  2. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:15 am:

    I don’t understand this “defend marriage” nonsense. What are they defending it from? If somebody can prove to me that their marriage is affected by a gay marriage I’ll give them $100.


  3. - too obvious - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    Judge could really make history today. Ruling unconstitutional would surprise me, but not totally.

    Downside of striking down ban would be removal of what little fun exists in gop gubernatorial primary.


  4. - Blue bird - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    Would Madigan call a vote and place legislators at risk of backlash if he thinks there is a reasonable possibility (or probability) that the Cook County Court and ultimately the IL supreme court will do the heavy lifting for him?


  5. - MrJM - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 10:44 am:

    “Defend Marriage Lobby Day”?

    Now who will step up to Defend the Marriage Lobby against the Pope’s appeals for tolerance?

    – MrJM


  6. - Montrose - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Not that we want to turn this into a conversation about Pope Francis, but keep in mind that his wonderful comments as of late do nothing to change church policy. The Catholic Conference is pressing for the state to be in line - or stay in line - with that policy.

    If the Pope convenes Vatican III, maybe we can get substantive movement that will force entities like the Catholic Conference to back off on marriage equality, but no one should hold their breath.


  7. - TJ - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    If only a certain high-profile Catholic leader said something regarding opposition to gay marriage a short while ago….


  8. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:11 am:

    With a divorce rate exceeding 50%, wouldn’t their efforts be better spent by strengthening marriage within their own communities instead of trying to keep it an exclusive club?


  9. - TJ - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:16 am:

    @Montrose

    True, Pope Francis’s statement does not represent a dogmatic change in Church policy. However, I’ll take the opinion of the Pope regarding what Catholics should be focused on in much higher regard than some random nobodies that just want to present a narrowline social conservative political viewpoint.


  10. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    Regardless of the ruling, the Attorney General and others in similar positions should not be picking and choosing which laws to defend.

    That holds firm whether the issue is gay marriage, concealed carry or other hotly debated issues.

    It is not appropriate to undermine our system of laws, checks and balances in such fashion.

    The tide is moving towards gay marriage and broader gun rights. Let that play out in appropriate fashion while upholding and defending the law as you are sworn to do.

    Advocate for your personal beliefs as much as possible. But do your job as a neutral public servant.


  11. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    –Not that we want to turn this into a conversation about Pope Francis, but keep in mind that his wonderful comments as of late do nothing to change church policy. The Catholic Conference is pressing for the state to be in line - or stay in line - with that policy. –

    In Illinois and the United States, church policy — any church’s policy — does not dictate public policy.

    Illinoisans don’t need a Vatican III to change public policy on this issue.

    As far as the Illinois Family Institute goes, they claim they exist to promote “marriage, family, life and liberty in the Land of Lincoln.”

    If they were sincere about that “liberty” part, they’d get their noses out of other peoples’ marriages, families and lives.


  12. - 47th Ward - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    The Thomas More Society would be among the first to rush to court to prevent the imposition of Sharia law, and yet here they are trying to elevate Catholic doctrine above civil law. #ourLadyofBlessedIrony.


  13. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    The Thomas More Society repeatedly refers to “Chicago’s gay marriage lawsuits.”

    The plaintiffs are couples from around the state. The city of Chicago has nothing to do with it.

    Is some dog supposed to hunt after hearing the whistle of “Chicago’s gay marriage lawsuit?”


  14. - jimbo26 - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    I support traditional marriage which is a marriage between 2 people who love each other. My wife & I have been married for more than 40 years and our marriage has survived many challenges, including the death of our son and 2 miscarriages. Anyone who is concerned that a same sex couple will endanger their own marriage is sadly mistaken. Some day we would like to return to the Church, however not as long as the local Diocese continues to ignore the Pope.


  15. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 1:13 pm:

    Remember, Mr. Breen, who is taking on Rep. Pihos becuase Pihos is not “pure” enough to serve in the HGOP Caucus.. is part and parcel with the Thomas More Society…

    Make no mistake, Mr. Breen is about “purity” in My Party. This case should allow that point to hit home pretty quickly.


  16. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    ==It is not appropriate to undermine our system of laws, checks and balances in such fashion. ==

    Choosing not to defend a law does no such thing.

    ==Let that play out in appropriate fashion while upholding and defending the law as you are sworn to do.==

    I believe they are doing just that by refusing to defend a law they believe is unconstitutional.


  17. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 1:22 pm:

    ==Changing the definition of marriage would not advance either of the two principal reasons for which marriage is a privileged legal and social institution: the procreation of children and providing a stable environment for such children raised by their biological mother and father.==

    What kind of robots are these people? That argument is so bogus. That pretty much insinuates that if you aren’t going to have children then you shouldn’t get married either whether you are heterosexual or not. Perhaps in their marriages love isn’t part of the equation? That’s a pretty sad existence and a pretty pathetic marriage if you ask me. These bigots need to go back under the rock they crawled out from under.


  18. - Demoralized - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    ==“The people of Illinois have always understood marriage as a relationship that may exist only between one man and one woman.==

    Which people are those exactly? Your people maybe but I don’t think you speak for the people of Illinois in general.


  19. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 2:22 pm:

    Actually, the people of Illinois believe gays and lesbians should be free to get married. Poll after poll shows that.


  20. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 2:33 pm:

    – Changing the definition of marriage would not advance either of the two principal reasons for which marriage is a privileged legal and social institution: the procreation of children and providing a stable environment for such children raised by their biological mother and father.–

    I guess the Thomas More Society is against married heterosexual couples adopting, since they wouldn’t be raising their biological children. Why would they deserve this “privileged legal and social institution?” They don’t fit the criteria.

    Where does “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” “democracy,” and “equal protection under the law” fit into these theories of alleged “privileged legal and social institutions?”

    Why don’t they just say they want Catholic canonical law to trump civil law in and leave it that? Lot more honest.

    That would be a theocracy, not a representative democracy.


  21. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 27, 13 @ 2:37 pm:

    ==“The people of Illinois have always understood marriage as a relationship that may exist only between one man and one woman.==

    Lot of things used to be “always understood.”

    Catholics couldn’t work in some places. Live in some places. Go to certain schools and colleges. Marry certain people.

    All those things were “always understood,” back in the day.


  22. - Anonymous - Monday, Sep 30, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    === Choosing not to defend a law does no such thing. ===

    It does exactly that. If you do not zealously advocate for and defend the existing law, the challenge wins.

    Thus, it becomes new law.

    === I believe they are doing just that by refusing to defend a law they believe is unconstitutional. ===

    There are 102 separate State’s Attorney’s in Illinois. That means 102 separate individuals with their own systems of beliefs and values, and their own interpretations of what is constitutional or not.

    Do we really want to put that level of power in the hands of 102 individuals? I would rather trust our existing system of checks and balances that has operated effectively for centuries.

    It is one thing to prosecute or not prosecute for jaywalking. It’s quite another to have 102 counties simply doing whatever 1 person in that county wants on issues such as marriage and concealed carry, instead of defending and upholding what the legislature and existing laws dictate.

    We got a glimpse of that approach when a number of Southern Illinois State’s Attorney’s recently announced their own “rules” for concealed carry.

    That sort of chaos is not conducive to a well-functioning system of government and laws, no matter what side of the political spectrum you’re on.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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