The Illinois Senate Executive Committee has approved the Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The vote ended up being 9 to 5. SB10 will now go before the Senate floor. The vote will come on 14 February.
Rick Garcia, the Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project, stated “We are all very excited to see this bill move forward. We are looking forward to a full vote in the Senate and we expect it to pass. It should be a very welcome Valentine’s Day gift for the thousands of couples and families that are anxiously awaiting the passage of this bill. The momentum continues to build in Illinois.”
The vote will come ahead of a planned lobbying day being planned by the Illinois Catholic Conference. They are planning that for 20 February.
The Rainbow Sash Movement criticized the lobbying effort saying:
Cardinal Francis George’s approach when it comes to marriage is that one size fits all. Thus he would have us believe that his sacramental view of marriage is embraced by all, or at least should be embraced by all. The Rainbow Sash Movement would tend to agree with George that marriage today is broken or a wounded institution, but responsibility for this problem should not be placed at the feet of the LGBT Community. Nor should it be used as a reason to deny LGBT people the right to marry.
We do not stand alone in the Catholic Church in supporting Gay Marriage as poll after poll have shown, on the contrary it is the ecclesiastical authority who are not listening to the people of God.
The Cardinal’s focus on Marriage appears to be from a religious perspective only, and the religious ceremonies that initiate it. In the Cardinals mind Civil Marriage has become confused with the sacramental principle. He cannot understand this because of his theology. Marriage for most LGBT people is about friendship, support, love, legal protection and adoption.
The state does not understand marriage as a covenant with God as the Cardinal does. From the state’s perspective marriage is a legal contract between two people. Because it is a contract it can be broken under our no fault divorce laws. In our opinion, Gay Marriage is about evolving that contract to include LGBT people it has nothing to do with sacramental marriage on the contrary if it was about sacramental marriage divorce would not be an option. Gay Marriage should not be about promoting or not-promoting ones religious belief.
We believe it is important that reasonable people in Chicago raise their voices against those who would promote such a double standard and stand with us. We are encouraged to see both rational Democrats and Republicans in Springfield reaching across the aisle to pass this legislation.
We invite people of good will both gay and straight, Catholic and Non Catholic to join us in asking for fairness when it comes to Marriage Equality.