Springfield | The Illinois Family Institute (IFI) is urging supporters of traditional marriage to rally at the Capitol the day after lawmakers return for the fall veto session in October. The House is expected to take up the bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, and IFI wants to keep the pressure on lawmakers to prevent its passage.
IFI Executive Director David Smith urged marriage supporters to attend the rally, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 23.
“We need to send a message to our lawmakers on the second day of the veto session,” Smith said during a July 10 meeting of pastors and church leaders in Springfield. He thanked the leaders for voicing their opposition to SB10, the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” during a debate-filled spring that ended with legislators failing to call the bill for a vote. Smith also warned them that the work isn’t over.
"If same-sex marriage is passed, religious liberty and freedom of conscious will suffer.”
Illinois lawmakers were called to Springfield for special sessions this summer, but pensions were the topic instead of same-sex marriage. However, the marriage debate continued to gather steam in the courts and among supporters on both sides.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling against the federal Defense of Marriage Act effectively gave married same-sex couples financial benefits previously only given to heterosexual couples. And in Illinois courts, the legal wrangling focused on Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed a motion July 10 for a summary judgment in their case against county clerks not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples seeking to marry.
Illinois Unites for Marriage, a coalition of organizations working to make same-sex marriage legal, has announced a $2 million campaign to see SB10 passed. John Kohlhepp, an experienced union lobbyist and campaign manager, is heading up the 113-day push to get the 71 votes needed to pass the bill in the Illinois House during the fall veto session
IFI’s Smith said he hopes to see 5,000 people at the Capitol Oct. 23 to voice their support for traditional marriage. He was joined by Focus on the Family’s Glenn Stanton at the meeting in Springfield, and at two other regional gatherings in Belleville and Mundelein.
Stanton spoke about the importance of marriage in God’s plan, reading from Revelation 19:6-9.
“We need to understand Satan hates and despises God and everything He represents. He knows how it’s going to end,” Stanton said. “He has a burning desire to destroy marriage on earth because of what it represents in Heaven.”