Chicago's Cardinal Francis George issued a letter Tuesday calling laws permitting same-sex marriage a “legal fiction” and directing the local Catholic faithful to contact state legislators about a proposed Illinois gay marriage bill.
Cardinal Francis George and his six auxiliary bishops officially entered Illinois' gay marriage fray Tuesday, issuing a letter that urges parishioners to contact state legislators and voice opposition to a legalization bill that could face a vote this week.
"Civil laws that establish 'same-sex marriage' create a legal fiction," George and the bishops wrote in a letter sent to priests Tuesday. "The state has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible."
Despite the anti-gay marriage sentiments coming from the top of the local Catholic Church, a majority of Illinois Catholics support same-sex unions, according to a poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University released in late September.
The bill needs at least 30 votes in the Senate and at least 60 votes in the House before it can reach the desk of Governor Pat Quinn, who said he would sign it into law and urged the legislators to lend their support with yes votes. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is also lobbying for the bill, alongside ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson.
Chris Pett, president of Dignity Chicago, a Catholic gay rights organization not sanctioned by the church, said the cardinal might have had pastoral intentions, but he missed an opportunity to call for dialogue and engage with the gay community. Instead, the cardinal made it clear that the church would fight marriage equality "until the bitter end."
Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to receive (spam free) email notification of top news articles.
Got something to say? Say it on Examiner by following this link to sign up.