Keen observers of my past Examiner columns may remember my previous comments about the fight over gay marriage in Illinois. In early 2013, proponents of gay “marriage” claimed they were on the verge of passing it during the Spring session, and said that they only need “1 or 2” additional votes. The situation seemed so clear cut that even then Illinois Republican Party chairman and self-proclaimed “Catholic” Pat Brady announced his support for “marriage equality” (well, as long the “consenting adults” happen to be homosexual, I guess) to be on the “winning side”. In my commentary, I noted that the only thing “inevitable” was that Pat Brady's tenure as Chairman would be over soon.
Fast forward to fall 2013, and my predictions proved to be entirely correct. Gay marriage was not passed in the Spring session, or in the summer for that matter. In fact, it wasn't even called for a vote, because proponents realized the legislation did not have majority support in the House and would fail, no matter how much they claimed otherwise in public. Pat Brady resigned as Illinois GOP chairman by March, and has now taken a cushy new paid political job as a lobbyist for the ACLU. In fact, he will be lobbying for gay marriage on their behalf. I wish the ACLU the best of luck with their new lobbyist, because if Pat Brady's track record at the ACLU is anything like his track record at the GOP, they're going to have buyer's remorse very soon.
So why discuss this topic now? Well, it's because radical left-wing activists are going to attempt to redefine marriage again very soon. The chief sponsor of the legislation to redefine marriage, State Representative Gregg Harris (D-Chicago), is on record saying that he plans to call the bill for a vote during the fall Veto Session (October 22-24 and November 5-6). Once again, they claim to be “on the verge” of having enough votes to pass it, and we are being told it is futile to resist. This tactic didn't stop supporters of traditional marriage from successfully opposing the bill before, but perhaps they think we'll buy it this time and cave to their demands.
In response, supporters of traditional marriage are planning another Defend Marriage Day in Springfield. The Archdiocese of Chicago is supporting this cause, and organizing transportation to Springfield for the Defend Marriage Lobby Day on October 23, 2013. The Catholic Conference of Illinois and the Illinois Family Institute are coordinating the event, with a Rally in the Rotunda and lobby day in the State Capitol from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Chicago area Catholics who wish to attend but cannot travel to Springfield by themselves can join the Archdiocese bus trip. Marriage advocates will be leaving from St. John of the Cross at 5005 Wolf Road in Western Springs, Illinois at 6:00 a.m., and Queen of All Saints Basilica at 6280 N. Sauganash Ave. in Chicago, Illinois at 5:30 a.m. The cost is $25 per person, and it includes lunch. (For more information on transportation options, contact the Archdiocese's Respect Life Office at 312-534-5355 or email email@example.com.)
Supporters of homosexual “marriage” will have their lobby day the day before the Defend Marriage Rally, so proponents of traditional marriage are hoping to get as many people as possible out to Springfield to defend marriage. It should be noted that the corrupt Chicago political establishment is almost entirely on the side of redefining marriage, with President Barack Obama, Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, and Attorney General Lisa Madigan among those calling for the state legislature to redefine marriage.
Here is the planned schedule for Wednesday's Defend Marriage Day:
- 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM:
- Prayer Watch at the Lincoln Statue (east side of Capitol)
- 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
- Marriage Rally in the Rotunda
- 1:00 PM
- Jericho Prayer Walk around Capitol (meet at Lincoln Statue)
- 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- Prayer Watch in the Rotunda
- 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
- Visit your state representative
The fact that several thousands of Illinois citizens will take the time to travel to the Capitol, wearing bright yellow buttons depicting marriage as between one man and one woman, can influence legislators enormously. As I noted in my past article, despite gay marriage proponents claiming that supporters of traditional marriage are “old white people who are dying out”, the turnout at the first Defend Marriage Day brought together large numbers of black, Hispanic, and white Illinois citizens, from all walks of life, to stand up for marriage. Many lawmakers will be hard-pressed to vote on a bill that may cost them their next election.
Furthermore, proponents of homosexual “marriage” claim those who are against the bill can only “thump the Bible” as their argument, so we need to demonstrate this is not the case. For example, a recent study from Canada revealed the devastating effects of raising children in same-gender households. Gay marriage advocates cannot claim the data is too recent to be of any value, since same-sex marriage has been the law of the land in Canada for several years. The study evaluates a 20 percent sample of the Canadian census, where same-sex couples have had access to all taxation and government benefits since 1997 and to marriage since 2005, unlike in the United States. The study was published in the the journal Review of the Economics of the Household. It found that children of gay and lesbian couples are only about 65 percent as likely to have graduated from high school as the children of married, opposite-sex couples. In particular, girls raised by gay parents displayed dramatically low graduation rates. The full report can be found in the article "A Married Mom and Dad Really Do Matter: New Evidence from Canada" by Mark Regenerus, which highlights of the work of Canadian economics professor Dr. Douglas Allen.
Now is the time to stand up for marriage. I hope some of my readers will do so, and join with fellow Catholics at the Rally in the Rotunda. As Edmund Burke famously noted, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.