Lesbian activist to decide Illinois ‘marriage’ lawsuit
CHICAGO, July 25, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The struggle for Illinois’ marriage law continues, as homosexual couples sue the state over the homosexual marriage ban. But according to the Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH), there is one fact that the media seems to have ignored: the ruling judge on the case is an openly homosexual and a gay rights activist.
Although Illinois law allows for homosexual civil unions, it maintains that marriage is “between a man and a woman.” On May 30, some 25 gay and lesbian couples filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming that the law upholding traditional marriage violated homosexuals’ right to equal protection under the Illinois constitution. The ruling judge on the case is Sophia Hall.
Likewise, the July 2007 newsletter of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association Chicago (LAGBAC) states that “LAGBAC hosted a reception to honor the lesbian and gay judges of Cook County,” and listed Hall as one of the guests.
In a 2010 speech, Hall stated that she has “focused on efforts to combat the injustice” of the “bias against gays and lesbians.”
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Judge Hall’s is in a similar position to that of Vaughan Walker, the federal judge who in August 2010 struck down California’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. He was later discovered to have been in a gay relationship. But unlike Walker, there is no secrecy surrounding Hall’s homosexuality.
In an interview with AFTAH, Rena Lindevaldsen, professor of Law and Associate Director of the Liberty Center for Law and Policy, stated that Judge Hall should recuse herself from the case, because of “an obvious conflict of interest.”
“Judge Hall is presiding over a case that seeks to fundamentally alter the meaning of marriage in Illinois,” declared Lindevaldsen. “As a Charter Member of the Alliance of Illinois Judges, which is an organization dedicated to LGBT causes, she has an obvious conflict of interest. Pursuant to the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge must disqualify herself in any case where her ‘impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’ (Rule 63-Cannon 3).”
“Given the significance of the case before her, Judge Hall should take steps to avoid even the perception of a conflict of interest, and recuse herself,” Lindevaldsen said.