The Illinois State Attorney General and the Cook County State's Attorney announced this week that they will not enforce the state's ban on same-sex marriage and will not defend the law in court. Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez were expected to defend Illinois' 16 year ban on same-sex marriage in an upcoming case brought by the ACLU and Lambda Legal on behalf of 25 same-sex couples. The announcement shocked many legal experts and some have said it will make it so that a judge will almost immediately strike down the same-sex marriage ban.What truly wonderful news.
Alvarez, State's Attorney for Cook County, the county that includes Chicago, told the Associated Press that "I took an oath when I was sworn in to defend the constitution of the state of Illinois and I believe that's what I'm doing," Alvarez said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm not going to defend something I believe is in violation of the constitution."
...The Chicago Tribune reports that this "marks the first time a state has refused to contest a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban."
Civil unions were smoothly passed into law by the Illinois state legislature last year, and, if for some unforeseen reason the ban on marriage equality is not struck down in court, the state legislature is likely to pass the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act," which would enact marriage equality while explicitly exempting religious organizations from being legally required to perform same-sex marriages (thus undercutting a common objection to such legislation, not that any proposed legislation has ever tried to mandate such a thing).
The long and the short of it is that Illinois will have marriage equality, probably very soon.