The Illinois Senate approved legislation Thursday that — if passed by the House — would create same-sex marriage in the state.
The state House of Representatives is expected to discuss the bill in the next two weeks.
“The same-sex marriage bill passed by the Illinois Senate today would violate the right of Illinois churches and religious organizations to follow their faith free of government oppression,” said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society. “It would also force Illinois business owners to operate in fear of being shut down, because of their conscientious objections to same-sex marriage.”
If passed, Illinois would join the District of Columbia and nine states — Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa, Washington, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York — which have all redefined marriage.
In 2010, the Illinois General Assembly enacted a civil-union law giving the same rights to same-sex couples that apply to married couples.
“Why are Illinois politicians working to trample the rights of the millions of people of faith across our state to live and work in accord with their religious beliefs?” Breen explained. “The senators’ decision today serves as a declaration that their constituents’ sincere beliefs about the true nature of marriage are bigoted and discriminatory. The Illinois House should reject the redefinition of marriage and this poorly drafted bill.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read the Thomas More Society’s letter to the Illinois General Assembly.