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Illinois County Clerks File Suit To Uphold State's Marriage Equality Ban

IllinoiscardFor the past few months, it has seemed Illinois was well on its way to marriage equality. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State's Attorney General Anita Alvarez have been making headlines as of late for their refusal to defend their state's ban on same-sex nuptials, Gov. Pat Quinn has been vocal about his opposition to discriminatory prohibitions and no viable challengers arose to champion the right wing's exclusionary agenda.

Until now.

WBEZ reports that two county clerks, a Republican and a Democrat, have come forward to fight for the ban:

Two downstate county clerks are stepping in to defend Illinois' gay marriage ban, after high-ranking government lawyers made the rare decision not to defend the state law against a pair of legal challenges in Cook County.

The request to intervene in the lawsuits was quietly filed late Friday afternoon by Clerks Kerry Hirtzel, a Republican from downstate Effingham County, and Christie Webb, a Democrat from Tazewell County in central Illinois.

Friday's court filings argue that if the two gay marriage lawsuits continue unopposed, it could create two sets of marriage laws in the state – one for Cook County, and one for the rest of Illinois.

Hirtzel and Webb have the backing of the conservative Thomas More Society, which has been for months threatening such a lawsuit but have held off until now.

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  1. "Downstate"

    Posted by: Mike | Jul 2, 2012 1:59:23 PM

  2. Now we know why it's "Effingham County".

    Posted by: David R. | Jul 2, 2012 2:04:21 PM

  3. These civil servants need to shut up and do the jobs they were elected to do. They have no business sticking their noses into other people's marriage plans.

    Posted by: patrick | Jul 2, 2012 2:06:02 PM

  4. "Hirtzel and Webb have the backing of the conservative Thomas More Society."

    Today's Roman catholic version of the Flat Earth Society.

    Posted by: Danny in the East Village | Jul 2, 2012 2:09:44 PM

  5. I am so sick of downstate Illinois. Everyone in Chicago hates you!

    Posted by: Brent | Jul 2, 2012 2:14:18 PM

  6. Downstate Illinois = Redneck territory

    Posted by: Matt N | Jul 2, 2012 2:24:04 PM

  7. Well Downstates not to thrilled about Chicago running the whole state. Why don't you start your own state like is being purposed?

    Posted by: JellyBean | Jul 2, 2012 2:28:51 PM

  8. What possible standing can these people have?

    Posted by: RWG | Jul 2, 2012 2:30:55 PM

  9. Hmmmm....

    Two "downstate" clerks file a request to intervene on Friday.

    God strikes Illinois with powerful storms over the weekend. AFTER the filing, not BEFORE when the state refused to defend the heinous law.

    Seems to me God is pissed off at the Haters.

    Hey, if they can invoke God's name for causing a natural disaster and arbitrarily assign his wrath to some random coincidence, so can I.

    Posted by: AggieCowboy | Jul 2, 2012 2:31:21 PM

  10. The Thomas Moore Society's representation has tended to be a disaster for the parties it represents because of the spectacular incompetence of its attorneys (Andrew Shirvell, anyone? He's out of the same law school that churns out the Thomas Moore Society's bad lot).

    Posted by: TomTallis | Jul 2, 2012 2:39:45 PM

  11. Effingham? they better be careful about their own 'truths';

    the county & town have a notorious history, nefarious would be one of the the best words to describe it;

    i had a friend from there who's hobby was Effingham history; he told us some stories that would make people yawn at the National Enquirer's headlines...

    Posted by: mike/ | Jul 2, 2012 2:57:15 PM

  12. Google for a picture of Kerry Hirtzel. MAJOR closet case, big shocker!

    Posted by: Don | Jul 2, 2012 3:00:57 PM

  13. Don;

    I cannot stop laughing!! I did google this Kerry guy and yes, are so right. thanks for the laugh.

    Posted by: Bernie | Jul 2, 2012 3:12:53 PM

  14. Same with Christie Webb -

    Posted by: B2Chicago | Jul 2, 2012 3:29:51 PM

  15. Just Googled his pic.

    Seriously ? Thomas Moore would just puke.....not just jesus.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 2, 2012 3:31:27 PM

  16. @B2Chicago :
    Got it - the face of hate.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 2, 2012 3:34:58 PM

  17. I hope they are ready for public shaming they are going to get by making this statement to defend against marriage equality. You know they will cry 1st amendment rights, but you can't cry that unless the government is trying to stop you from saying something. Public outcry is fair game.

    Posted by: Dairyqueen | Jul 2, 2012 3:53:54 PM

  18. I love the claim that chaos will result from inconsistent marriage laws.

    Reminds me if Romney's prediction that same-sex marriage would bring chaos and confusion to MA. Still haven't had to call out the riot squad,

    Posted by: Bingo | Jul 2, 2012 3:56:30 PM

  19. I already called and left a voicemail for Christie Webb, maybe I'll stop by sometime this week just to see her face in person.

    Posted by: B2Chicago | Jul 2, 2012 4:04:30 PM

  20. The same thing happened in California and the clerk was denied standing.

    Posted by: Stefan | Jul 2, 2012 4:07:23 PM

  21. Keeping track of all this is draining. Keep in mind that you could wake up on Christmas and what you want just won't be there. Go out and live your life.

    Posted by: Randy | Jul 2, 2012 4:26:59 PM

  22. I will have you all know that not all of us "downstate" are hateful, redneck pricks. This is the angry, anti-gay rhetoric two rouge clerks who are completely overstepping their bounds and should not be lumped in with the rest of us who are not lunatics. Though I am not surprised this is coming out of Effingham. The 100+ foot high sign of the second coming of the almighty once you come around the bend in I70 just show what kind of crazy people live in Effingham.

    Posted by: Christopher | Jul 2, 2012 5:26:42 PM

  23. Thomas More? He wrote a book called Utopia but also burned "heretics" at the stake. Some Utopia!!

    Posted by: chuck | Jul 2, 2012 11:21:50 PM

  24. I cannot stop laughing!! I did google this Kerry guy and yes, are so right. thanks for the laugh.

    Posted by: Bernie | Jul 2, 2012 3:12:53 PM

    Same with Christie Webb -

    Posted by: B2Chicago | Jul 2, 2012 3:29:51 PM

    Seriously, are there ANY anti-gay rights activists who don't look like major league closet cases? Other than Maggie, who's just a big bitter old cow. She was probably once spurned by a young man who thought the safest way to let her down was to say he was gay. Or worst, responded the wrong way to the threat used by coeds since time immemorial - or at least the 1960s - of "the guys will think you're gay unless you date me." I got that one a couple times. He probably said I'd rather they think that!

    Posted by: St. Theresa of Avila | Jul 3, 2012 7:19:08 PM

  25. @BRENT It's the same thing here in NYC. Everybody hates upstate NY because they are conservative, Republican and always find a way to block anything that smacks of progress for the State and for NYC.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 4, 2012 8:18:44 AM

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