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Clerk: Gay marriage is 'long past due' in Illinois, two lawsuits also filed

s_falkow | Flickr

As expected via reports this morning, two lawsuits filed Wednesday are part of efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.

They're filed on behalf of 25 gay and lesbian couples who were denied when they tried to apply for marriage licenses in Cook County.

The lawsuit names Cook County Clerk David Orr, who actually supports gay marriage. He says it's past time for Illinois to allow county clerks to issue marriage licenses to couples who want to make a commitment.

The lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and Lambda Legal challenge Illinois marriage law on a constitutional basis. Attorneys say they should be able to marry under due process and equality clauses in the Illinois Constitution.

Marriage is defined as between a man and woman in the state. Illinois approved same-sex civil unions last year.