Same-Sex “Marriage” Appeal on Illinois House Floor
Same-Sex “Marriage” Appeal on Illinois House Floor
Written By David E. Smith   |   04.29.10

In Springfield on Wednesday, Illinois State Representative Deborah Mell (D-Chicago) took a moment of personal privilege in the legislative chamber to announce that she and her lesbian partner would be traveling to Iowa to get married next year, and to advocate for so-called same-sex “marriage” legislation here in Illinois.

There has been considerable media coverage of Rep. Mell’s announcement — all of it one-sided, but what hasn’t been addressed strikes at the very heart of this debate: the public purpose of marriage.

Marriage is not a relationship that society created in order to give some people benefits and deny them to others. Marriage is the institution that societies worldwide have recognized and encouraged because this unique relationship between a man and a woman provides particular benefits to society, chief among them, the procreation and nurturing of the next generation.

If marriage were centrally or solely about affirming love between individuals, the government would have no reason to be involved in the business of sanctioning marriage. Government sanctions the type of relationship into which children may be born and raised because the government recognizes that that institution which best serves the needs and rights of children is the institution that best serves as the foundation to a healthy society.

Society has historically concluded that marriage requirements — limiting the number of partners, prohibiting incestuous marriages, age and sexual complementarity — best serve the needs of children and therefore best serve the needs of society.

Polyamorous people cannot redefine marriage by eliminating the criterion of numbers of partners. Incestuous couples cannot redefine marriage by eliminating the criterion regarding blood kinship. And those who believe they are in love with minors cannot redefine marriage by eliminating the criterion of minimum age. However, homosexual activists persistently demand that marriage be redefined to suit their selfish desires.

The social science is clear and irrefutable: children do best in stable, healthy homes with both a mom and dad. Therefore, the government has a compelling interest to recognize, protect and promote the God-ordained institution of marriage through legal benefits.

Media Bias

Despite the fact that Illinois Family Institute has been the leading pro-marriage organization in the state, only one news source contacted us in an effort to present a balanced view on this highly controversial and divisive issue. Chicago-area newscasts and newspapers chose instead to promote only one side of this debate, demonstrating an unethical intolerance for diversity of thought. (Perhaps this bias is a contributing factor to the steep decline in newspaper circulation.)

The fact that voters in 31 states have rejected same-sex “marriage,” coupled with the lack of support in Illinois’ Democrat-dominated General Assembly provide evidence for the fact that the majority of Americans are not buying into this radical attempt to redefine the institution of marriage. But this reality doesn’t seem to factor into how the dominant media report on this issue.

A particularly egregious example of media-bias and intolerance occurred recently on the television program Chicago Tonight. The night before Rep. Deb Mell’s announcement on the House Chamber floor, she and her partner appeared on the program for an interview with Carol Marin – a well known liberal television and print partisan.

During the interview, Marin acknowledged that the topic of same-sex “marriage” is polarizing but failed to present adequately the pro-traditional marriage perspective. Instead, Marin eagerly played an active role in the pro-homosexual “marriage” movement by presenting yet another personal and emotionally charged story of a couple who love each other and want to be together for the rest of their lives.

Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality said that this is all part of the homosexual agenda. “The obvious media strategy is to present sympathetic gay couples and their being denied supposed rights. Illinois legislators should not be swayed by this manipulative political stunt.”

Marin made a futile attempt to appear objective by half-heartedly presenting a couple of pro-traditional marriage arguments that were quickly dismissed by Mell and her partner, who at one point said, “we are not to be feared… There is nothing scary about letting us have the same rights as everyone else.” Of course, Marin did not follow up or challenge that statement.

If I had been on the program, I would have pointed out that she is partially correct: we should not fear those who identify as homosexual, but we have every reason to fear the political goals of homosexuals, including legalized same-sex “marriage.” Their goals are not only “scary”, but selfish. The elevation of special rights for sexual behavior conflict with religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Moreover, IFI’s Laurie Higgins has written extensively on the gay agenda’s advance in our schools and points out:

If same-sex “marriage” becomes legal, public school teachers will have no option but to include families led by homosexuals in discussions of family life. Although increasing numbers of liberal elementary school teachers are already including such families in discussions of family life, those who are reluctant to introduce this subversive idea to little children will not have the freedom to avoid the subject of family structures defined by deviancy.

It is legitimate to fear the prospect of loosing the right to live by the dictates of one’s faith, the prospect of having one’s religiously informed views censored by special gay “rights” laws (Hate Speech, ENDA, SNDA,etc.), and it is legitimate to be concerned about the prospect of having a divisive and controversial political agenda taught in schools with own tax dollars, which is already taking place in Massachusetts and California regardless of parent’s objections.

There have been numerous civil rights violations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, California, Sweden, and Canada ranging from the denial of parents’ rights to remove their children from explicit homosexual instruction to the denial of a pastor’s speech rights to the denial of private business owners’ right to run their business as they see fit.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Due to special gay “rights” legislation we are facing a showdown: Gay Rights vs. Religious Freedom. We cannot have both — so which will it be?

David  E. Smith
David E. Smith is Illinois Family Institute’s executive director.  He and his wife of 19 years are blessed to be the parents of six young children. David has been interviewed for...
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