Halfway There, Illinois …

Illinois Senate approves gay marriage

The Democratic-led Senate delivered a Valentine’s Day victory to gay and lesbian couples today, passing legislation for the first time that would allow same-sex marriage in Illinois.  The gay marriage measure now goes to the House, where the fight is expected to be tougher. Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

To be clear, this is a secular vote by the secular government with regard to a secular law on how it will consider the definition of secular (i.e. state sanctioned) marriage:

The legislation explicitly says nothing in the proposed law would force a religious denomination or minster to “solemnize any marriage.” […] 

The law will not require ministers to perform a marriage of gay couples. […]

Nor will church officials have to require facilities of churches, such as parish or fellowship halls, to be used by gay couples against the wishes of a religious group, [Sen. Heather] Steans said. […]

It was even amended hours before the vote in order to ensure that no legal action could be taken against a church that did not wish to perform a same sex marriage.  Freedom of religion – and the freedom for religious groups to keep hatin’ on the gays if they want to – is still intact in this country, in intent if not yet in fact.  (loopholes could exist …)

So, obviously, the Catholic Church has a problem.

While advocates have brought forth a lengthy line-up of religious leaders who have endorsed same-sex marriage, Catholics and other church groups have provided fierce opposition. They have argued same-sex marriage goes against the basic tenets of the Bible, which call for marriage to be only between a man and woman.

“Goes against the basic tenets of the bible?”  So does worshiping another god!  The First Amendment of the Constitution takes care of that one.  How about bowing down to graven images?  Coveting?  Re-marrying after divorce?  Premarital sex?  The state punishes none of these, because it is a secular entity under no obligation to recognize the rules or authority of any religion.

Regardless of whether there will be any acknowledgement on the part of the Catholic Church over this issue, the bill is now being tossed over the wall to the House.  It’s supposed to have a somewhat tougher battle there, but with the larger percentage of Democrats since the beginning of the year, it has a greater hope of passing than before.

That will make Illinois state number 11, of I’m not mistaken.  One by one ..

This entry was posted in Freedom from Religion, Religion and Public Life, Religion in the News, Society Marches On and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Halfway There, Illinois …

  1. Dan Adler says:

    It’ll make Illinois political-entity number 11. But only because DC isn’t a state 🙂 The roster thus far is:

    Massachusetts (2004), Connecticut (2008), Iowa (2009), Vermont (2009), District of Columbia (2010), New Hampshire (2010), New York (2011), Maryland (2012), Maine (2012), and Washington (2012).

    • Yeah yeah, fine 🙂

      And Oregon *isn’t* on the list, by the way. There’s a petition going around to get it on the 2014 ballot, though, so here’s hoping.

      • Dan Adler says:

        Yeah. Noticed that about Oregon. What are you people waiting for anyway??

        • Back in 2004 the Defense of Marriage Coalition got a measure on the ballot to constitutionally prohibit same sex marriage, and it won 57-43. I’m surprised given the left leaning tendencies of counties to the west of the Cascades … but once you go east it turns into Palin Country in a hurry, so …

          • Dan Adler says:

            Hrm. Maybe eastern Washington and eastern Oregon should form their own state, and then western Oregon & Washington can merge. Problem solved.

          • I had thought about that, but given how all of those Red votes don’t end up contributing anything to the electoral college, I think we should keep it as-is for now. I think we’ll get there (eventually).

  2. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    I’m an atheist. I don’t care about the rules of “God” or the “Bible”, but I also think homosexuality is an unhealthy and un-spiritual practice.



    • Hi Matthew – thanks for your response, and I appreciate you sharing your perspective on the issue. However, in the same way we shouldn’t ascertain the morality of an activity on the basis of it being observed in nature, I suggest that you might not want to universally condemn it on the assumption that your personal experiences and current understanding of human sexuality is somehow representative of (or shared by) anyone other than yourself.

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