From WILL - News Headlines -

llinois Clerks Defend Gay Marriage Ban

Two county clerks from downstate Illinois are throwing their support to an effort to defend the state's gay marriage ban in court.

In May, twenty-five gay and lesbian couples represented by the ACLU and Lambda Legal launched separate cases that were later consolidated, which argued that Illinois' same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

The Effingham and Tazewell county clerks decided to intervene after Cook County's State's Attorney and the Illinois Attorney General refused to defend the marriage ban.

Tazewell County Clerk Christie Webb said she has no position on gay marriage, but just wants to ensure there's a uniform law for all counties.

Effingham County Clerk Kerry Hirtzel said the marriage debate should stay out of court.

"This I realize is a volatile subject, I suppose, but it should be changed by our legislature or a vote of our people of the state," Hirtzel said.

But Camilla Taylor, who is the lead lawyer in Lambda Legal's lawsuit, said this is exactly the type of issue that belongs in a courtroom.

"When a law deprives you of your dignity, your equality, and your humanity, you always go to the court to vindicate your state constitutional guarantees," Taylor said.

Taylor said she doesn't object to the county clerks intervening in this case since she says they have a right to voice their concerns.

The Thomas More Society, which is a public-interest law firm that opposes gay marriage, is representing the county clerks.