* We’ll get into what happened with gay marriage yesterday in a little bit. But first, let’s backtrack. We talked yesterday about the “natural law” argument made by Chicago’s Cardinal George against gay marriage…
The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible.
* Lt. Governor Sheila Simon had a pretty good counter-argument…
Simon argued that adoption is similarly a “legal fiction” that helps citizens form a family unit — and one that she also supports.
Game, set, match.
* The Tribune offered up another argument…
The Catholic church, after all, bars remarriage by divorcees, but Illinois grants marriage licenses to them. Allowing same-sex marriage does not limit the freedom of religious believers to reject it; it merely allows those who differ to practice what they believe.
* But a group of Catholic, Muslim and other religious leaders sent out a press release yesterday arguing against gay marriage, claiming that it poses a “serious danger” to society…
Marriage is the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman, and the natural basis of the family.
Marriage is an institution fundamental to the well-being of society because a stable, loving marriage is the ideal environment for raising children. Through marriage, children grow up knowing that they were created through an act of intimate love. Marriage is also beneficial for adults as the ideal structure for men and women to live interdependently, recognizing the equal dignity, beauty and value of one another while also relying on each other’s care and love. This is the natural order embracing the complementary physical, emotional and spiritual design of men and women.
As such, marriage in its true definition has long been respected and publicly supported in our society. As religious leaders in Illinois, we find the continued affirmation of marriage between a man and a woman essential. The ongoing attempts to alter the definition of marriage in civil law are full of serious danger, primarily by degrading the cultural understanding of marriage to an emotional bond between any two adults and by giving rise to a profound interference with the exercise of religious freedom for those persons and religious institutions whose faith and doctrine recognize the spiritual foundation of marriage as an authorized union between a man and a woman.
Some claim that as long as religious ministers are not forced to preside over same-sex “marriages” the principle of religious freedom, as secured in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment is protected. However, the notion that the exercise of religious freedom is confined to the interior of churches, synagogues, temples or mosques or what one does on Holy Days is wrong and dangerous. The freedom of religion also extends to the ministries of religious organizations and to the individual conscience. Thus, the real peril: if marriage is redefined in civil law, individuals and religious organizations – regardless of deeply held beliefs – will be compelled to treat same-sex unions as the equivalent of marriage in their lives, ministries and operations. Compulsion of this nature is a violation of personal conscience and of religious liberty.
We implore all people of good will to protect marriage and religious freedom. The far-reaching consequences of redefining marriage in civil law extend throughout society and will directly impact religious freedom. Marriage and religious freedom are ideals integral to Illinois, and our elected leaders should do all they can to maintain these important principles.