The Illinois Senate may take the first step down the aisle towards legalizing same-sex marriage on Valentine's Day according to Senate President John Cullerton at a meeting with the Sun-Times editorial board on Thursday, January 30. http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2013/02/same-sex-marriage-bill-to-be-voted-on-valentines-day-in-illinois-senate.html
The debate over same-sex "marriage" has unfolded across America for the past several years. It's now heating up here in Illinois. In the minds of many who ascribe to Judeo-Christian values, marriage is an institution created by God. Government cannot redefine it. Marriage exists not only for the benefit of couples but also for the care of the next generation. As such the issue of same-sex marriage must be given urgent attention here in Illinois, in spite of Illinois's recent credit downgrade and its horrendous pension problem which seems insurmountable given that Democrats control policy here in Illinois.
It was just a little over a year ago when the Illinois created civil unions for those in same-sex relationships by passing the "Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act", forcing Catholic Charities out of foster care and adoption services in Illinois.
Strong forces including the Governor, Senate President, Speaker of the House and Mayor of Chicago are at work to move a same-sex "marriage" bill through the Illinois General Assembly. President Obama has also gotten involved by asking legislators to pass a same-sex marriage bill. http://chicagophoenix.com/2012/12/29/report-president-obama-asks-il...
The counterfeit "marriage" bill currently being proposed in the Illinois General Assembly (HB 110 and SB 110) would change the legal definition of marriage to accommodate those of the same sex who wish to "marry" one another and would likewise affect our children and our religious freedom.
The bill is disingenuously titled the "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act." Its chief sponsors, State Representative Gregg Harris (D-Chicago) and Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) vowed and did reintroduce the bill almost immediately upon the start of the new General Assembly and are on a fast track to introduce the bill in tandem. Time ran out for Harris and Steans to bring the bill up for a full vote during the 97th General Assembly's lame duck legislative session.
Senator Steans hopes Illinois will become the tenth state to approve the recognition of gay and lesbian marriages. Nine state and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriages. Washington, Maine and Maryland approved same-sex marriage ballot measures in the November elections. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/01/lawmakers-to-reintroduce-Illinoi...
Herein lies three very obvious reasons why same-sex marriage must be defeated:
1. Same-sex couples already enjoy all the same rights and benefits as married couples in Illinois under the civil unions law of 2011.
2. Children need both a mom and a dad. Marriage exists for the benefit of children. Social science research and thousands of years of history show that children do best when raised by their married mom and dad.
3. There will be significant consequences if marriage is redefined in Illinois. In other states that have redefined marriage, there have been profound consequences for those who express or act on their belief that marriage is the union between one man and one woman.
The following comes from a January 6th story written by Cardinal George in the Chicago archdiocese paper, "Catholic New World": http://cal-catholic.com/wordpress/2013/01/21/cardinal-george-illino...
"The nature of marriage is not a religious question. Marriage comes to us from nature." . . . "The State protects marriage because it is essential to family and to the common good of society. But neither church nor State invented marriage, and neither can change its nature. Nature and Nature's God, to use the expression in the Declaration of Independence of our country, gives the human species two mutually complementary sexes, able to transmit life through what the law has hitherto recognized as a marital union."
As with many bills, often what is hidden within the language of the bill does not become evident to the public (and legislators) until after the law is passed, i.e., Obamacare. Language in the proposed marriage bill would require that all churches make their property available for same-sex "marriages" even if it is in violation of a church's religious beliefs. Language states that if a church allows facility rentals or receives "a public benefit" it must make its facility available for a same-sex "marriage" or the celebration thereof or be open to a lawsuit. Understood is that every church has a tax exempt status and/or is allowed a "property tax exemption" under Illinois law, which is a "public benefit." http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp?DocNum=110&GAID=...
The Illinois Family Institute (IFI), executive director David E. Smith, is sponsoring a Defend Marriage Lobby Day on Wednesday, February 20th from 10:30 AM - 1:30 AM. when Illinois families from around the state will take a stand "for protecting marriage, religious freedom, parental rights, and the innocence of our children!" Suggested by David Smith is that churches organize to support this lobbying day to defend marriage. Check this website for more information about the IFI-sponsored Defend Marriage Lobby Day. A downloadable flyer is also available for distribution. http://illinoisfamily.org/politics/defend-marriage-lobby-day-feb-20th/
If you are unable to join the IFI in its Defend Marriage Lobby Day where legislators can be addressed in person, it is important to call your Illinois senate and house representatives to vote 'NO' to HB 110 and SB 110.