CHICAGO - Being the daughter of the Illinois Democratic Party Chairman Mike Madigan, Illinois' Attorney General Lisa Madigan's opinion in support of same sex marriage made public Wednesday in the Chicago Tribune surprised no one. Indeed, AG Madigan's agrees with her and her father's political party platform. Although AG Madigan identifies herself as a Roman Catholic, she separated herself from her religious affiliation by supporting the redefinition of marriage to include same sex couples. The measure waits before the Illinois House.
I believe that passing the marriage equality bill is the only way to fulfill the promise of equal protection under the Illinois Constitution. While I have supported marriage equality since my days as a state senator over a decade ago, I have since conducted an extensive legal analysis that has only emboldened my support as attorney general.
A ban on same-sex marriage violates the state Constitution's equal protection clause. The law does not allow the state or federal government to create a separate class of marriage based on a person's sexual orientation. There is no other way to describe this than to call it discrimination. That is why, in state court, I have intervened in a lawsuit challenging Illinois' current marriage law, and at the federal level, my office has filed briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court that support overturning California's same-sex marriage ban and finding the federal Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.