Defeat of Illinois gay marriage bill a gift from God, foes claim

Tue. June 4, 2013 6:54 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

brian brown of nom

Gay marriage foes are cheering the 'defeat' of a gay marriage bill in the Illinois House on Friday.

On the final day of the regular session, Rep. Greg Harris, the bill's champion in the chamber, tearfully announced that he would not call the bill for a vote. A loud uproar was heard from the public gallery, where supporters were seated.

Harris said that he had assurances from colleagues that they would support the measure in the fall and pledged to call a vote on the bill in November.

Marriage equality opponents cheered their first win in months.

"As Christians we know that all good things are gifts from God, and the retention of sexual complementary in the government's definition of marriage is a very good thing," the Illinois Family Institute, which lobbied against passage, said in a blog post. "The failure of this bill is a good thing for children, for parental rights, for religious liberty, for the common good, and for truth."

"Despite what the bill's supporters claim in a dishonest attempt to stigmatize supporters of natural marriage, the retention of sexual complementarity in the legal definition of marriage bears no kinship to bans on interracial marriage. Nor does it signify injustice to those who seek to marry someone of the same sex."

Bishop Larry Trotter, co-chairman of the African American Clergy Coalition, said members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus had shown "extreme courage in their defense of traditional marriage in Illinois."

"Today our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has won!" Trotter said in a statement. "Pastor James Meeks, Bishop Lance Davis and I are so proud of the God fearing Black Caucus members who withstood the pressure of the LGBT forces and allowed God's word concerning marriage to remain between one man and one woman in Illinois."

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) called the action a "great victory."

"So much for the inevitability of gay marriage," said Brian Brown. "This is a huge victory at a pivotal time, and totally undercuts the lie that somehow same-sex marriage is inevitable."

In recent months, supporters had amassed an impressive string of victories as six states – Washington, Maryland, Maine, Delaware, Rhode Island and Minnesota – and three nations – France, Uruguay and New Zealand – legalized marriage equality without a court order.

Meanwhile, the finger pointing in Illinois continued as Rep. Harris laid some of the blame on Democratic Governor Pat Quinn. Harris told the Chicago Tribune that Quinn's public insistence that the bill had sufficient support undercut lobbying efforts.

Editor's Note: The deadline for Senate Bill 10, or the Religious Freedom and Marriage Act, has been extended until Aug. 31, offering a small opportunity for passage over the summer. Otherwise, the measure could be called in the November veto session.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine