County Clerk Joins Intervention Opposing Change in Illinois' Ban on Same Sex Marriage

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Published on July 5 2012 2:27 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham County Clerk Kerry Hirtzel is one of two county clerks in Illinois that has joined in an intervention concerning the ban on same sex marriage in the state.

Hirtzel Thursday said he joined the intervention filed by the Thomas More Society because he wants the question of maintaining the ban to be decided by the voters or by the state legislature, not by the courts.

The dispute arose after some Cook County residents filed suit to overturn the ban on same sex marriage, which has been on the books in Illinois since 1995.  Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez refused to defend the law as did Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.  Alvarez and Madigan say the ban is unconstitutional.

The decision by the two officials led the Thomas More Society to intervene in the matter, and Hirtzel and Tazewell County Clerk Christie Webb signed on to the intervention.

Asked why he agreed to participate, Hirtzel said, "I believe it's the right thing to do."

Hirtzel consulted with Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters before signing on to the intervention.  Deters participated with the Thomas More Society several years ago in an effort to uphold Illinois' parental notification law regarding minors undergoing abortions.  Hirtzel said Deters signed off on the Thomas More Society representing him in the intervention.

The court Tuesday agreed to consider the intervention.  Hirtzel said the next hearing is set for September 27.