Twenty-five Illinois couples were prepared for a long legal fight when they joined lawsuits challenging the state's ban on gay marriage. Turns out they won't get one — at least not from the attorneys who would normally be responsible for defending the state's laws.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Attorney Anita
Alvarez have refused to defend the 16-year-old ban, which defines
marriage as between a man and a woman, saying it violates the state
constitution's equal protection clause.
The decision has raised
eyebrows among some legal experts who believe prosecutors are legally
bound to defend Illinois law, and sets up a scenario where a judge could
quickly strike down the marriage statute. Supporters of the ban say
it's unconscionable that there might be nobody in court to defend it,
and some are strategizing over how to intervene.