SPRINGFIELD — Lawmakers in Illinois have voted to legalize same-sex ‘marriage’ in the state, making the ‘Land of Lincoln’ the 15th in the nation to permit the practice.
The matter was not without debate, however, as a number of legislators expressed their opposition to the measure, including from the Scriptures.
“This debate is a joke,” remarked Democratic Representative Mary Flowers. “[They] will not be truly married in God’s eyes.”
She pointed to the Book of Genesis during her comments, noting that God specifically created the woman for the man.
Republican Representative Dwight Kay agreed. He told his fellow lawmakers that America was founded upon Scripture even before the U.S. Constitution was created.
“My conviction happens to be that this (gay marriage) is wrong, but my conviction is that Scripture is right,” he declared, according to the Chicago Tribune.
But House Speaker Michael Madigan cited the recent remarks of Pope Francis in explaining his decision to support the bill.
“[T]he quote that I offer is a quote from Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic church, who is quoted as saying, ‘If someone is gay, and he searches for the Lord, and he has good will, who am I to judge?’” he stated. “Pope Francis has spoken, and he has articulated the basis of my thinking on this issue.”
“Jesus loves everyone,” Representative Ken Dunkin of the General Assembly’s black caucus contended.
Other representatives expressed concerns about whether the law provided sufficient protections to religious organizations.
However, the measure ultimately passed in the House by a tight margin of 61 to 54 and quickly moved the Senate, where it was approved 31 to 21. The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act now moves on to the desk of Governor Pat Quinn, who is likely to sign the legislation.
Following the passage of the bill, Barack Obama took to Twitter, stating, “This is huge.” He also released an official statement praising lawmakers.
“As president, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law. Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else,” Obama wrote. “As I said in my Inaugural Address last January, our journey as a nation is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
But Bishop Larry Trotter of Sweet Holy Spirit Church in Chicago stated that he disagreed with Obama—although he otherwise supports his presidency—and remarked that the passage of the law would not change his views on homosexual behavior. He thanked those who “stood up for God” throughout the debate.
“Regardless of the passage of SB10, we will always believe that marriage is between one man and one woman,” Trotter said. “Yet we will still love the members of the LGBT community. We pray God’s grace, mercy and blessings over the state of Illinois and the United States of America.”
Photo: Daniel Schwen