Protect Marriage Illinois’ Coalition to Deliver Over 345,000 Signatures Today to Qualify Referendum for Ballot in November

Reading Time: 2 minutes

News Release, May 8, 2006 

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois–Volunteers from across the state will be in the capital today to hand-deliver 345,199 signatures to the Board of Elections–to place a referendum on the November ballot asking if the General Assembly should amend the Illinois constitution to declare that “marriage between a man and a woman is the only legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State.” 

(The PMI effort collected more than 421,000 signatures in total, but due to the state’s draconian rules regarding collecting notarized signatures, many petitions could not be submitted.)

If it survives a promised challenge by homosexual activists, the Protect Marriage Illinois (PMI) effort will be the first citizen advisory referendum to make it on the Illinois ballot in Illinois in 28 years. A total of 283,111 signatures of registered voters is required to get the referendum on the ballot, but PMI volunteers will deliver tens of thousands more than that. 

The exact number of signatures to be submitted will be revealed after the petitions are delivered at 11:30 a.m. to the Illinois Board of Elections, at 1020 S. Spring St. in Springfield. At 12:30 p.m., the following speakers will be available to the media at the front entrance of the Board of Elections:

  • David Smith, PMI Project Director; Senior Policy Analyst, Illinois Family Institute 
  • Jack Roeser, Chairman, Family Taxpayers Network 
  • Naomi Attaway, PMI Coordinator, African-American Family Association 
  • Susan Jordan, Catholic Outreach Coordinator, Protect Marriage Illinois 
  • Rev. Joseph McAfee, Central United Community Church, Chicago

Peter LaBarbera, Executive Director of Illinois Family Institute, called the Protect Marriage Illinois campaign “a huge grassroots success that is historic in its proportions. The task of going to the ballot to call on our political leaders to protect traditional marriage has united people from every part of Illinois and from all races and backgrounds: African-American Pentecostals in Chicago, white Catholics in Peoria, evangelicals, Muslims, Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Truly, this is a ‘We the People’ movement.”

(LaBarbera will not be able to attend the PMI event in Springfield due to a personal tragedy in his family.)

Noting that a proposed binding constitutional marriage amendment has languished in Springfield for over two years, PMI Project Director David Smith said: “It’s a shame that we’ve had to resort to an Advisory Referendum to tell our legislators specifically to make protecting marriage a top priority. Nevertheless, it is humbling to see how many people and churches have invested their time, energy and resources to give us this unprecedented grassroots victory.”

IFI Featured Video
The Problem of Gambling in Illinois
Get Our New App!