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Proponents line up to support gay marriage while Chicago Cardinal condemns it

Wednesday, Jan 2, 2013

* A large group of Illinois clergy is supporting gay marriage

More than 200 pastors and rabbis released an open letter Sunday calling for legislators to approve legislation allowing gay marriage. They say it’s a matter of equality, conscience and justice. The group plans to send the letter to lawmakers.

The complete list is here. From their letter

We believe all Illinois couples should have the same civil protections and urge our public officials to support measures to achieve equality. […]

The very basis of marriage is to protect the family, strengthen our communities and advocate compassion. No couple should be excluded from that.

* Some bigtime corporate types are also planning to push for the proposal

A coalition of gay marriage advocates plans to release a letter this week signed by top Illinois executives and companies endorsing same-sex marriage as an economic imperative, giving a powerful push to a bill that state lawmakers could take up as early as Thursday.

Among the signatories are Google, which announced this year it was moving its Motorola Mobility unit downtown; Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto; The PrivateBank and Trust Co. Chairman Norman Bobins; and online daily deal pioneer Groupon. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his top corporate adviser, Michael Sacks, are among those soliciting signatures. […]

ASGK declined to release a copy of the letter, but a draft obtained by the Tribune argues that gay marriage is the “pro-jobs, pro-growth thing to do.”

“Since human capital drives innovation and growth, a state must foster an environment where people want to live,” the letter reads. “To be competitive, a state must create an equitable, fair and respectful environment for all its citizens.” It also notes that it would increase sales and hotel tax receipts and revenue for the wedding industry.

* President Obama indicated through a spokesman that he backs the proposal as well

“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.

“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry, from doing so. Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would treat all Illinois couples equally,” Inouye said.

* But Chicago’s Cardinal George, of course, does not support the bill. From his letter to parishioners

Marriage comes to us from nature. The human species comes in two complementary sexes, male and female. Their sexual union is called marital. It not only creates a place of love for two adults but also a home for loving and raising their children. It provides the biological basis for personal identity.

It is physically impossible for two men or two women to consummate a marriage, even when they share a deep friendship or love. Does this mean nature is cruel or that God is unfair? No, but it does mean that marriage is what nature tells us it is and that the State cannot change natural marriage. Civil laws that establish “same-sex marriage” create a legal fiction. The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Boone's is Back - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:43 am:

    Best part about Cardinal George’s letter is that it is co-signed by only 6 other people, all bishops. The open letter from Illinois clergy of various denominations was co-signed by 250. Hmmmm….

  2. - Colossus - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    Cardinal: since I can no longer look forward to the 50 shekels each I would otherwise receive for my daughters when they marry, I think we can safely say that marriage has been redefined by society through the ages.

    I know it’s scary, but the world doesn’t stop spinning, and these kinds of things happen every generation or so. Try to maintain some dignity and find your place in the new world, it’s not nearly so scary once you stop trying to make people stop liking things you don’t like.

  3. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    - The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible. -

    I had no idea the Catholic Church was so concerned about things nature tells us are impossible.

    I seem to remember some stories about a big whale’s hospitable belly, burning/talking shrubbery, infinite division of bread and fishes, and even a really important one about someone coming back to life after being killed.

    I have so many questions for Cardinal George now…

  4. - Just Observing - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    I have nothing to really add other than let’s legalize gay marriage and move on.

  5. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    I just don’t get why the Cardinal insists on enshrining his view of marriage into law as affects my partner and me, but doesn’t campaign to ban marriage between infertile or senior couples or to outlaw sex outside marriage.

  6. - John Bambenek - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:58 am:


    Point of reference, sex outside of marriage *is* illegal in Illinois. See 720 ILCS 5/11-40.

    Just sayin’


  7. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:58 am:

    - It is physically impossible for two men or two women to consummate a marriage -

    Also, I think there are probably some wounded veterans that would be extremely offended by this remark, and the Cardinal should be ashamed for telling them their marriages aren’t real.

  8. - Liberty_First - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 11:59 am:

    Colossus, How condescending.

  9. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    Am not religious myself, but as long as religion leaves me alone, I have no problem with it. That said, I have major problems with celibate (!?) unmarried men making any kind of grand pronouncements about abortion, birth control, or marriage….

  10. - Just Me - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:11 pm:

    If religion has the exclusive right to create a marriage, then there are a lot of judges in the State that are violating natural law everyday.

  11. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    If all sex between men and women is marital then does the catholic church not believe in premarital sex or what?

  12. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    –Marriage comes to us from nature.–

    Huh? It does? That’s news to me.

    Kind of surprised to see the cardinal go the natural law route. Not really his ballgame.

    But even so, it would seem that since there have been gay people since the crust cooled, they are only fulfilling their nature as well.

    And, as others have pointed out, there are real marriages out that are not “consumated” and where bearing children is not in the cards, for reasons that are nobody’s business.

    As for the ASKG letter, I really dislike the phrase “human capital.” Very Orwellian, and not one that should be associated with a civil rights issue.

  13. - Skirmisher - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:16 pm:

    I have no religious afiliations and disagree with the Pope and his representatives on most issues. Having said that, however, I am afraid that I can’t quite accept the concept of “marriage” between two persons of the same sex. Legally sanctioned partnerships, yes. Marriage, no. In my opinion this is something being fervently sought by the so-called “gay” community entirely because they want to do everything possible to make criticism of their lifestyle socially unacceptable, and not because it grants any advantage beyond what they already enjoy through the legality of civil unions. So I vote with the cardinal.

  14. - Draznnl - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:17 pm:

    How surprising that the Cardinal has come out against marriage for those beyond child-bearing age. Unlike younger heterosexual couples, their relationships are incapable of bringing children forth. An absolutely stunning change of position by the Catholic Church. Or does the child-bearing test only apply to people the church doesn’t like for other reasons?

  15. - Former Downstater - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:30 pm:

    Skirmisher- check out the 1000+ plus rights and responsibilities denied to same sex couples if they aren’t married-

    As long as there are two classes of legal, government sanctioned relationships, there is the possibility for inequality.

    Catch up to the 21st century. It’s not a lifestyle, it’s our lives. And “so-called ‘gay’ community” Really?

  16. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    John Bambenek: Fornication is only illegal under that statute if it is “open and notorious”. If the Cardinal cared at all about consistency, he could campaign to make sex outside marriage illegal when it occurs behind closed doors. :)

  17. - girlawyer - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:36 pm:

    Perhaps a shame that we don’t take the approach of many countries where a religious marriage and a civil marriage are two separate things. The churches can marry (or not) whomever they please and couples can have a religeous marriage, a civil marriage, or both. Then again, maybe that wouldn’t change a thing about the cardinal’s objections.

  18. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:46 pm:

    If leaders are going to get all political on us while speaking on behalf of their church, it’s time to tax them. We could solve the pension problems.

  19. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    I think we should forgive the cardinal - he is required by the requirments of his office to read the prepared script.

    This is a fait acompli given the current state of affairs. Saying things like what Mr Bambenek said only opens opponents to ridicule. I like what girlawyer said altho I think we are a bit farther down the road for that to happen. I am ambivalent on the subject myself {insert joke about how misery should be shared}.

    I’ve said it before - in a society where many “hetero” folks routinely eschew marriage in favor of co-habiting, it’s not surprising they don’t object to same sex marriages.

  20. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 1:15 pm:

    - he is required by the requirments of his office to read the prepared script. -

    Something tells me the Cardinal isn’t a big gay rights supporter trapped under the Pope’s thumb. Could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

    - “hetero” folks -

    Out of curiosity, what’s with the quotes?

  21. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 1:33 pm:

    –Marriage comes to us from nature.–

    I’ve heard this a lot lately from some of my Catholic acquaintances. This must be the latest argument from the Vatican. It’s not a religious argument put forth by the Church; it’s the violation of the natural order of things that reaches beyond religious law. Good PR move, but it doesn’t work. Homosexual behavior has been a part of nature since before recorded time. Marriage is a man-made institution. You can’t have it both or either way, really.

  22. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    What in the world is a “biological basis for personal identity”?

    I thought merely being born was proof of the biological basis for personal identity.

  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 1:43 pm:

    –What in the world is a “biological basis for personal identity”?–

    I’ve been pondering that one, too, lol. They are words, but I don’t know if they communicate anything in the order they are written.

  24. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 1:54 pm:

    The cardinal is in no position to tell us what is marriage when neither he nor the clergy in his faith are married. On the other hand, I’m very happy that clergy of other faiths support equality and believe through this example that religion is about justice and love.

  25. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 2:06 pm:

    STL, That was the throw away line - the man is governed by his beliefs. We can forgive him anyway, no?

    The more important line of my post was the last one. Yet you focus on the minutiae. I’m curious, what’s with that?

  26. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 2:15 pm:

    dd - Not sure what you mean, I’m not calling for the Cardinal to be assaulted or imprisoned, just pointing out how ridiculous and offensive his statements are.

    As to the minutiae, just wondering what the quotes meant, I’ll live if you don’t tell me.

  27. - dupage dan - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 2:19 pm:

    “assaulted or imprisoned”

    Such violent imagery - where did that come from?

  28. - MrJM - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 2:24 pm:

    I remain unconvinced that men who engage in the deviant sexual lifestyle of “celibacy” have any authority on the subject of “natural” sexuality.

    – MrJM

  29. - Small Town Liberal - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 2:27 pm:

    - where did that come from? -

    My confusion over what we’re supposed to do to forgive the Cardinal.

  30. - Peggy So-IL - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    Natural law is not a new Catholic argument or way of thinking. Societies that never heard of the Judeo-Christian God established heterosexual marriage customs for alliances, reproduction and sexual regulation (yeah, that sounds awkward, but true). Natural law is written on the human heart. The 10 commandments are natural law spelled out, as God’s Chosen people had a bit of a difficult time following natural law what with temptations and all that. Our American founders appealed to natural law as the basis for saying our rights come from God, not from government.

    God bless Cardinal George. I see a lot of women, lots of Jewish rabbis, many Episcopals, a nun who ought to be disciplined, Unitarians, UCC, and some yahoo-named “churches”. In spite of the #s, just a few religious traditions are represented. I see no Muslim Imams on this list. How about Orthodox Jews? Orthodox Christians? Mormons?

  31. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    –Our American founders appealed to natural law as the basis for saying our rights come from God, not from government.–

    The first three words of the Constitution are “We the people,” and it they who “ordiain and establish” the rights within. God is not mentioned in the document.

    You’re referring to the Declaration of Independence, which served a separate purpose altogether.

  32. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 3:45 pm:

    If our rights were believed to have come from a deity, then why are they all repealable? Every one of them can be repealed via the normal amendment to the Constitution process.

  33. - soccermom - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 5:13 pm:

    “Marriage comes to us from nature.”? Gee, I hope nobody tells the Cardinal about snails…

  34. - Just The Way It Is One - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 6:55 pm:

    Amen Cardinal. Let’s not get carried away and keep it at Civil Unions in Illinois.

  35. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 8:19 pm:

    I had no idea that, as a woman, I am not allowed to have opinions about religion or that if I do have opinions about religion they are automatically non-traditional. Thanks, Peggy SO-IL!

  36. - Anon3 - Wednesday, Jan 2, 13 @ 9:12 pm:

    It seems to me that the Church spent this last election cycle not as the ‘bride of Christ” but as a hand maiden of the RNC. Its actions may have freed Democratic Reps and Sens as vote as they please as nothing will please the Church so why try.

  37. - Darla - Thursday, Jan 3, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    Perhaps the church should have expended this amount of energy in protecting children from the acts of their own clergy. That would have been time better spent.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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