SPRINGFIELD, IL, November 5, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Illinois is poised to become the 15th American state to legalize same-sex “marriage” after the House of Representatives voted 61-54 this afternoon in favor of S.B. 10.
The gay “marriage” bill will now go to the desk of Governor Pat Quinn, who has promised to sign it into law, making marriage redefinition all but a done deal in the Prairie State.
“Today the Illinois House put our state on the right side of history,” Quinn said in a statement after the vote. “Illinois is a place that embraces all people and today, we are an example for the nation.”
President Obama also issued a statement praising the vote. “Tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours,” he said.
The successful attempt to pass the legislation comes after the bill failed to come up for a vote last legislative session, with inside sources saying at the time that supporters of marriage redefinition lacked the necessary votes.
Debate over the bill today raged for over three hours.
Democrat Rep. Mary Flowers lambasted arguments equating the fight for gay “marriage” with the civil rights movement.
“When I was discriminated against, it is not because of who I love, but because of the color of my skin…Homosexuality has nothing to do with race,” she said. “Even if the legal definition of marriage was changed, those two people will never be married in God’s eyes.”
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“This issue is not just about two adults and their emotional relational and financial commitment to another,” said Republican Rep. Tom Morrison. “Redefining marriage has far reaching implications in our society.”
Former House minority leader Rep. Tom Cross (R-Plainfield) joined two other Republicans, Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) and Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) in breaking with the party platform and supporting the bill.
Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage said in a statement that “the losers will be the people of Illinois who will see that redefining marriage will unleash a torrent of harassment toward those who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
He also warned that the bill lacks adequate religious protections.
“Once the law goes into effect in June of next year, we will see individuals, businesses and religious groups sued, fined, brought up on charges of discrimination and punished simply for holding true to the traditional view of marriage,” he said.
Earlier this year Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society in Chicago had warned that SB10 “would make Illinois the most hostile state in the country to the religious freedoms of people of faith.”
The Catholic Conference of Illinois also issued a statement saying it is “deeply disappointed” that representatives “chose to redefine what is outside of its authority: a natural institution like marriage.”
The vote “not only goes against the common consensus of the human race – which understands that nature tells us that marriage is the union of one man and one woman – but it also undermines an institution that is the cornerstone of a healthy society,” said the conference.
The statement also expressed concerns “about the very real threats to religious liberty that are at stake with the passage of this bill.”
The vote came less than two weeks after an estimated 4,000 people descended upon Springfield supporting the definition of marriage as being between one man and woman on October 23rd.
In the lead-up to today’s vote, a group of black pastors had vowed to up their efforts to ensure that politicians who voted for the bill would be unseated.
“I think that they will feel the crunch,” said Bishop Larry Trotter, of Sweet Holy Spirit Church in Chicago. “I think that they cannot take for granted that they can come to the church; and get the church’s sanction, and votes, and signatures; and then go to Springfield, and don’t speak what the people want them to speak. And so now, if that’s how we have to be heard, we will be heard.”