(WASHINGTON TIMES) — Twenty-five gay and lesbian couples have sued to overturn an Illinois state marriage law, saying it is unconstitutional to deny them the right to marry.

Traditional-values groups said they were developing their response to the lawsuits, with one spokesman predicting a “battle royale,”though there are fears that Illinois officials will just roll over and not defend their laws.

Illinois passed a civil-union law in 2011 that gives same-sex couples all the rights and benefits of opposite-sex married couples, but the 25 same-sex couples reject that compromise as stigmatizing and disrespectful.

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