Same-sex marriage bill seeks a Valentine's Day vote

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.

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.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brian L. February 05, 2013 at 07:42 AM
Curiosity has me ask, what about nature makes us define marriage? Procreation is procreation, not spending your life with someone who makes you happy. Spending your life with someone you love is that. Do you honestly think that if the world was entirely homosexual the human race would die out? People wouldn't procreate? What about all of the evidence of homosexual relationships in the animal kingdom? I can cite some if you need me to, but it only takes a simple internet search to see it exists in "lesser" species. Same sex couples may have some rights under state union laws, but it is a travesty nationwide. There are companies that still deny benefits to same sex couples. If you cross state lines your marriage or civil union may become null and void. What you are asking is to make sure the governmental definition of a couple mirrors that of what the Bible says....and that shouldn't be. The govt should acknowledge civil unions for tax purposes and religions can keep their version of marriage as ceremonial. If homosexuals are allowed to marry in the US, are you frightened that a woman may kick down your door and force you to marry her? If two women or two men get married does that bar you from heaven? You can still live your life as you see fit so why do you get to tell others what they can and can't do in the privacy of their home? Are you still a big fan of anti-miscegenation laws? again, just curious.
Sue February 05, 2013 at 10:56 PM
If a child is lucky enough to get two loving, caring adults to raise him or her than that child is blessed. I don't think God is so discriminating as to care whether those two adults are a man and a woman, a woman and a woman or a man and a man.
Sean G. February 06, 2013 at 05:42 PM
I just made this comment on another patch article and thought I would share it here too. Man can pass any laws he wishes. He can pass a law to call a tree a cat, however the tree has a essence and simply changing or defining a tree as a cat does not make it so and can never change the essence of the tree. Marriage is a sacrament under God, it is the union of one man and woman, it has an essence and a definite purpose. Pass whatever laws you want, because the essence and sacrament of marriage is unwavering and no man made laws will ever change that.
Brian L. February 06, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Every time I come to this site and see this disregard for your fellow human being's dignity, it sparks my disappointment in human kind. Especially using the church as a shield to pretend that what you say isn't denying common rights. If God created everything, as I am assuming that is your belief, then either he created the ability for members all animal species to exhibit and practice homosexual behaviors or it is a "mental disorder" shared by almost every type of animal in the world. All you want to do is tie marriage to procreation because that is what the bible tells you it is supposed to be. What about all the heterosexual married couples who have no intention of bearing children?
Sean G. February 06, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Marriage has an essence that goes beyond mental disorders, children, and my beliefs. We are high reasoning human beings, comparing intellectual human beings to all other much lower functioning animal species is an insult to each and every human being. Pro homosexual marriage arguments are superficial and don't address the essence but are however topical and hypothetical in nature. Essence in itself is dignity. That very tall 200 year old oak tree exhibits essence and its' essence is its' dignity. Change its' essence by cutting it down takes away all of its' dignity. Try to change the essence of anything then loss of dignity will surely follow to those seeking its' change. Man can compromise any concept he wishes by passing as many laws as possible but essence is an unwavering principal that is never compromised
Brian L. February 07, 2013 at 01:29 PM
So you'll pass laws to outlaw it instead? How is marriage as a concept natural (as in occurring through nature)? Without an institution the word would never exist. If people wanted to spend their life with someone they would just do it. Painting with a broad brush and telling us that the reason to prevent it is homosexual couples would harm their children mentally is absurd. Heterosexual couples raise some pretty messed up children on their own and their are countless studies and real life examples of children raised by same sex parents who turn out just fine. The only real reason people state isn't so much that the parents will be be bad but the children will get ridiculed and mocked. And why is that? Because we have people who loathe the idea so much they would take it out on a child to feel better about themselves. None of this affects you or me or anyone else who isn't gay. I get to stay married to my wife. My marriage will be no weaker if my neighbors are gay and come home with a "just married" banner on their car. Nancy can still dislike gay rights and get into heaven just fine. She won't be forced to marry a gay person. Zero changes for her or for you. Arguments against civil rights for African Americans probably sounded a lot like this. Danger to the "american way," bad to raise children in interracial families, ruin a "good thing." You're arguments are just a way to hide behind fear and ignorance of others.
Brian L. February 07, 2013 at 02:07 PM
When man defines the "essence" of all those items/species that you talk about, how can you say that is their essence? Wouldn't the true essence of marriage be love? We can chose to define it anyway we want, but love is the underlying theme that you will never take away. Except of course in all those glorious hetero marriages like power couples needing a spouse, a "keep me in the country" sham, "oops you're pregnant", celebrity PR wedded bliss, and countless others. But by God, we better preserve the sanctity and "essence" by not allowing two same sex partners who deeply love each other to get married. You are trying to define it for our country as though the U.S. is a theocratic nation. It's not. I don't agree that a church or religous figure should be forced to wed a gay couple in a private church (which I read the law and disagree with Nancy's claim that it will happen) but please see the parallel to all other civil rights and tell me why only this is different. The bible says slaves are A OK, but I don't hear you arguing that we need those back.
Margaret McCarthy February 07, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Brian, no, you have it backwards. We don't want laws passed to make it legal. Right now it isn't, as it hasn't been for eons. I think the burden of proof for making such drastic changes to society lays with those demanding them.
Brian L. February 07, 2013 at 07:11 PM
What proof are you asking for? That those couples love each other? Do you get to quantify love? Do you just decide to disregard studies that show children in same sex couples turn out just fine? When you say laws have been around for eons, do you only mean biblical laws seeing as our country is only a few hundred years old?...or do you mean the Defense of Marriage Act which legally defined it as man and woman and has only been around for about 17 years? This is a law that if changed only affects those who wish to be married to their same sex partner. As I have said before, you don't have to marry a woman if the law passes. You can still marry or be married to man. Why are you so worried about gays being married if it doesn't hurt your chances to make it to your view of heaven?
Sean G. February 07, 2013 at 08:30 PM
Shallow reasoning, questioning, talking points, shaming, and finally name calling (which I am surprised too not see here BTW), is what is the pro homosexual marriage movement is all about. Man can pass ANY laws either to permit or outlaw homosexual marriage but it doesn't change the essence of marriage. Man can pass all the laws requiring us to call all each and every tree a cat. Try as laws may, but the law will never change the basic, real, and invariabale nature that there stands an individual tree and not a cat. (Essence) - the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing or its significant individual feature or features. The inward nature, true substance, or constitution of anything, as opposed to what is accidental, phenomenal, illusory, etc. Homosexual marriage is an illusion containing little if any essence of what marriage is. The illusion of homosexual marriage is sold by our media, schools, and even churches. The essence of anything (in this case marriage) does not need to be sold and packaged. Essence stands with dignity and is never compromised. Man can define anything in any way he pleases, but essence is forever and can't be modified.
Sean G. February 07, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Margaret, you hit a key word - change. New laws does not necessarily equate to change. The end sum is the essence of all matter. Essence transcends man made laws on everything, including homosexual marriage.
Sean G. February 07, 2013 at 08:47 PM
Brian man does not define essence. Essence is matters' invariable nature, you and I don't define the essence of anything. Essence goes deep into what something is both in the physical and in the meta-physical. Essence CAN have a single significant individual feature and in the case of marriage that is propagation of the species. Love is one of the many multitude of marriage but it is not the single most significant one. With out propagation of the species there can be no love. Good luck Brian that was a fun exchange.
Brian L. February 07, 2013 at 09:01 PM
So how does a term and an idea (marriage) have it's own essence? Comparing marriage to a tree is apples and an idea of apples. A tree isn't an idea. For you, marriage is defined by biblical terms only. We are talking about something that shouldn't matter to others in a religious sense. We are talking about equality in the eyes of our laws and country. Marriage doesn't exist in the natural world for anything except human beings, and we made it exist. It wasn't just there like your trees. Homosexual couples and relationships have existed for a very very long time in the human world and in nature with different species. Procreation will never disappear even if everyone on the planet was gay. We all know how to procreate and species (including humans) will always keep procreating out of necessity, if not pleasure. Your religious views seem to say that propagation of the species is the main point of marriage but they will still gladly marry two opposite sex people who may not procreate.
Brian L. February 07, 2013 at 09:09 PM
So your views of essence of both physical things and ideas seem to be very faith based. So if God created this idea and only that essence is truth and it alone can transcend laws, do you steal from a man who took from you? Slavery in essence is ok? We made laws against it but if the essence was said from year 0 then that law doesn't change, right? You are still speaking and giving reasons that you should receive things that others don't, and that doesn't feel right to me, and luckily to many others. It's like Jesus always said, make sure I have certain governmental rights that others do not. (please note the sarcasm)
jkerr February 07, 2013 at 09:16 PM
You people are on the wrong side of history. Gay marriage is practically a done deal and younger generations are welcoming it. Get used to it.
Sean G. February 08, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Brian, I have not mentioned God, faith, or religion even once in my postings. Please don't put words in my mouth... Good luck.
Brian L. February 08, 2013 at 12:35 AM
True. Didn't mean to infer. I was just assuming which apparently wasn't correct. So where do these essences come from, especially for an idea like marriage? I understand that tree will always be a tree and a cat will be a cat, but what about something that humans thought up? ...and thanks for the luck...although I'm not sure what for.
Brian L. February 08, 2013 at 12:37 AM
...and if it's not religious based, where does your angst for gay marriage come from? I'm just curious as I have never heard someone so vehemently against it who did not have a religious background.
Brian L. February 08, 2013 at 12:57 AM
I guess what it boils down to for me here Sean, is that you keep talking about this essence. I get what it means for trees and concrete objects. A rose by any other name...right? But you are talking about marriage, which isn't a concrete object. It is an institution that had been religious in nature for quite some time. Then our country adopted that institution as a way to define couples so to easier deal with taxes and other benefits for two people becoming one. Your essence of marriage was brought about by people in history. A tree was and always is a tree. Marriage wasn't anything and we made it something. Now we have a group of people who would like to be recognized by our country as what they are, a married couple dedicated to each other for their lives. In that, they would receive the same benefits that you or could receive under federal law. If the churches want to keep marriage fine. Then our government should make civil unions the normal procedure that they use for all couples, hetero- or homo-sexual. The marriage can be ceremoniously done and recognized by a religious organization. We're talking about equal rights under the law, not God, Allah, Adonai, whoever you believe in.


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