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Illinois Gay Marriage Ban Challenged

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CHICAGO (AP) _ A Cook County judge has agreed to consolidate two lawsuits challenging Illinois’ ban on gay marriage. Judge Moshe Jacobius said Thursday that lawsuits filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal now will be just one case.

The lawsuit represents 25 Illinois same-sex couples. It names Cook County Clerk David Orr, who actually supports gay marriage but is in charge of issuing marriage licenses.

Illinois 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. They agree with plaintiffs that it violates the Illinois Constitution’s equal protection clause.

Gay marriage opponents say someone has to defend the ban, and They’re strategizing over how to intervene.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)