CHICAGO -- More than two dozen gay and lesbian couples are planning to file lawsuits in an effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.
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Two lawsuits will be filed Wednesday in Cook County by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and the New York-based gay rights group Lambda Legal. Attorneys say they challenge the Illinois law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Illinois lawmakers approved same-sex civil unions last year, but plaintiffs say denying them the right to marry is unconstitutional.
Plaintiffs include a Chicago couple who've been together 15 years. The women say only marriage will recognize their love and commitment to each other.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states. In Iowa, a lawsuit resulted in the state Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage.