The Illinois General Assembly has closed the year with a cavalier attack on the
traditional family by voting to establish "civil unions" for homosexual "partners."
The Legislature voted last week to enact the civil unions law during a lame-duck
session which included lawmakers who were defeated in the recent election or who
are retiring from public office. The Illinois House approved the bill by a vote
of 61-52, and the Illinois Senate endorsed the measure by a vote of 32-24.
The legislation, falsely described as the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection
and Civil Union Act, establishes a legal arrangement tantamount to marriage for
The bill states that parties to a civil union "shall be entitled to
the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections, and benefits afforded
or recognized by the laws of Illinois" to married spouses. As such, civil unions
are simply marriage by another name.
David Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, deplored the actions
of the Legislature. "Today is not merely a sad day; it's a tragic day for Illinois."
Paul Caprio, director of Family Pac in Chicago, echoed the sentiments. "It's a dark
day for Illinois families. The Legislature has put a knife into the institution
Newly re-elected Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has promised to sign the "civil unions"
bill in the New Year. The law will then take effect in June of 2011. Quinn, who
is a Catholic, says he signed the bill because of his faith.
Yet Catholic Bishop
Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield challenged Quinn's assertion.
"[The Governor] did not say what religious faith that would be, but it is certainly
not the Catholic faith," Paprocki said in a statement. "If he wishes to speak as
a Catholic, then he is accountable to Catholic authority, and the Catholic Church
does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural
moral law." Quinn responded to Bishop Paprocki by saying he was following his conscience.
"My conscience is not kicking me in the shins today," Quinn retorted.
The Illinois Catholic Conference rightly points out that the "religious freedom"
title of the bill is fraudulent. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago issued a statement
saying that "there is an inherent conflict between this legislation and religious
liberty. Language in this bill offers little protection to religious institutions
The Catholic Conference contends that the new law will lead to faith-based agencies
who provide foster care or adoption services being required to place adoptive or
foster children with "couples" in same-sex "civil unions," as has happened in other
states. The Conference also is concerned that Christian agencies operating religious
retreats, religious camps, senior care centers, and other accommodations will be
required to provide services to individuals in same-sex "unions."
also points out the threat that Christian ministries will be required to provide
family benefits to employees who have entered into a same-sex "civil union."
It is highly disturbing to see the state of Illinois grant legal recognition and
public endorsement to these unhealthy, immoral, and anti-family relationships.
Missouri is now bordered on the north and east by states that have implemented the
worst of the homosexual agenda in acting to redefine or mimic the institution of
marriage. The Iowa Supreme Court redefined marriage in that state last year to
include individuals of the same gender.
Illinois joins New Jersey, California, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington in creating
some form of "civil union" for homosexual "couples." Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Vermont, New Hampshire, and Iowa are states where the courts or the Legislature
have redefined marriage to include homosexual "partners."
The fact remains that
in every state where the voters have had the say, traditional marriage has been
preserved through constitutional amendments such as that in Missouri.
It has become clear over time that passage of "civil unions" legislation is merely
an intermediate tactic of homosexual activists in their efforts to dismantle the
institution of marriage. Once "civil unions" are legally ratified in a state, homosexual
advocates argue that it amounts to a "separate but equal" form of discrimination,
and that so-called full "marriage equality" must be granted.
The fate of traditional marriage throughout the United States of America may well
be determined by a court case soon to unfold in federal court in California. A three-judge
panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be hearing an appeal of the
decision by U.S District Judge Vaughn Walker
to mandate so-called same-sex "marriage"
in that state.
Walker struck down a constitutional amendment approved by the voters of California
known as Proposition 8. His opinion, which bears no resemblance whatsoever to an
analysis of the law, constitution, and legal precedent, has been strongly criticized
as an egregious case of judicial activism. Walker ruled that the decision by California
citizens to preserve marriage as the union of a man and a woman was motivated by
religious bigotry, and that traditional marriage is an outdated institution. Shortly
after his reckless ruling, Walker announced that he is retiring in February, and
will join the faculty on the ultraliberal campus of the University of California
We strongly urge you in the coming weeks to be praying for the three judges on the
9th Circuit Court who will be hearing this critical court case on the future of
marriage. If Walkers' decision is upheld all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,
it would likely lead to court-ordered homosexual "marriage" in every state of the
nation, just as the Roe v. Wade abortion case led to legalized abortion in every
state in America.
The three judges who will be deciding the fate of Proposition 8 are Stephen Reinhardt,
appointed by President Carter; Michael Hawkins, appointed by President Clinton;
and Norman Randy Smith, appointed by President George W. Bush. Please be praying
that they will respect the will of California voters and honor the integrity of
God's design for marriage and the family.