Help Preserve Marriage!
State Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, and state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, attempted to push redefinition of marriage legislation during the lame duck session that ran from Jan. 2-8. That legislation passed a Senate committee, but was not called for a vote before the full Senate. The measure changes the definition of marriage currently set in state law from "between a man and a woman" to "between 2 persons."
A new legislature was sworn in on Jan. 9. All legislation that was under consideration during the past two years has now "expired," and must now be introduced in a new bill with a new number.
Steans introduced redefinition of marriage legislation in Senate Bill 10, which passed the Senate Executive Committee by a 9-5 vote on party lines on Tues., Feb 5. The Senate on Thurs., Feb. 14 — Valentine's Day — approved the legislation on a 34-21 vote, with two lawmakers voting "present."
SB 10 went before the House Executive Committee on Tues., Feb. 26, and was approved on a 6-5 vote, with all Republicans voting against it, in addition to one Democratic lawmaker. The legislation can now be called for a vote before the full House at any time.
Senate Bill 10 offers murky religious freedom protections, at best.
Take Action Now!
Look up your state representative and call him/her, urging a "no" vote on the redefinition of marriage. OR CLICK HERE TO SEND AN EMAIL TO YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE.
WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF YOUR LOCAL PAPER, using these talking points as a guide.
Join the Illinois Catholic Advocacy Network (I-CAN) to get updates on this issue by clicking this link. Keep checking this page for updates.
Stay Informed On The Church's Stance On Marriage
Read the Marriage Toolkit issued by the Catholic Conference of Illinois and authorized by our Illinois bishops. It offers answers to key questions, such as the following:
- What is marriage?
- Why is the definition of marriage important?
- Why does the Church endure the repercussions of taking a stance on marriage which is contrary to popular social trends and media advocacy?
- And, most importantly, why should you care about marriage?
The Illinois Family Institute sponsored a Lobby Day to Preserve Marriage on Wed., Feb. 20, 2013, at the state Capitol in Springfield. More than 3,500 individuals from across the state traveled to Springfield to lobby their House lawmakers to oppose Senate Bill 10.
Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria on Wed., Feb. 6 announced in a letter the diocese was chartering a bus from Peoria to Springfield for interested individuals. Parishioners from the diocese ended up filling two buses.
Cardinal George, Bishops Write Letters To Parishioners on Redefinition of Marriage Legislation
Cardinal George of Chicago on Jan. 1 sent a letter on redefinition of marriage efforts to every priest in the Archdiocese, asking that the letter be distributed in parish bulletins the weekend of Jan. 5-6.
The Cardinal stresses that the "Church welcomes everyone, respects each one personally and gives to each the spiritual means necessary to convert to God’s ways and maintain friendship with Christ."
However, he notes that "marriage comes to us from nature."
"It is physically impossible for two men or two women to consummate a marriage, even when they share a deep friendship or love," he writes. "Does this mean nature is cruel or that God is unfair? No, but it does mean that marriage is what nature tells us it is and that the State cannot change natural marriage. Civil laws that establish “same-sex marriage” create a legal fiction. The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible."
Cardinal George expands upon the letter in his latest column in the Catholic New World.
Bishop Paprocki of Springfield has also sent a letter to parishes to be distributed to parishioners the weekend of Jan. 5-6. Read his letter here. He also issued a statement on Feb. 12, 2013, strenuously opposing the expected Senate passage of Senate Bill 10.
Bishop Malloy of Rockford also has sent a letter to parishes to be distributed to parishioners the weekend of Jan. 5-6. Read his letter here.
Diversity Of Faith Leaders Send Letter To Lawmakers on Redefinition of Marriage
Pastoral leaders representing more than 1,700 faith communities in Illinois – parishes, congregations, churches and Friday prayer locations and Masjids – have signed a letter sent to Illinois lawmakers, urging them to safeguard both marriage and religious freedom by rejecting any legislative efforts to redefine marriage
The faith leaders note that traditional marriage “is the natural order embracing the complementary physical, emotional and spiritual design of men and women.”
They also warn that simply not being forced to preside over same-sex marriages does nothing to protect religious freedom as guaranteed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The proposed legislation falls far short of protecting the rights of churches and individuals to freely exercise their religious beliefs and abide their consciences, they note.
“If marriage is redefined in civil law, individuals and religious organizations – regardless of deeply held beliefs – will be compelled to treat same-sex unions as the equivalent of marriage in their lives, ministries and operations,” they write.
The signees of the letter represent a diversity of faiths, including the Anglican Church in North America, the Catholic Church, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, as well as individual Baptist and Evangelical churches.
Bishop Paprocki Testifies Before Illinois Senate Committee
He warned senators that "if we ignore in law the natural complimentarity of man and woman in creation, then the natural family is undermined." He also noted that a redefinition of marriage seriously infringes on religious freedom, since religious organizations would be forced to recognize same-sex marriages in their operations — such as being forced to rent out a parish hall for a same-sex wedding reception or forced to hire a same-sex marriage participant.
Click on the photo to hear his testimony, or read it here.
African-American Clergy, CCI Oppose Redefinition of Marriage
The African-American Clergy Coalition on Thurs., March 7 held a press conference at the Chicago South Loop Hotel to announce a public relations effort aimed at educating their congregations about Senate Bill 10. Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago spoke at the press conference, along with Bishop Larry Trotter, senior pastor of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago and presiding bishop of the New Century Fellowship Churches International, and Bishop Lance Davis, senior pastor of the New Zion Christian Fellowship of Dolton and founder and CEO of Voices of Morality.
Watch the press conference by clicking on the photo.