A group of conservative organizations based in Illinois have banded together to oppose efforts to pass marriage equality there. Because of the success of marriage equality efforts in other states, high polling on the issue, and the popularity of civil unions, state lawmakers may take up the issue as soon as January’s lame-duck session. The new coalition of opposition is calling itself the “Coalition to Protect Children and Marriage,” and includes the Eagle Forum of Illinois, Catholic Citizens of Illinois, the Thomas More Law Center, and the Illinois Family Institute. The IFI has been classified as a hate group for its anti-LGBT rhetoric, and its Director, David Smith, has more to offer:
SMITH: Government did not create marriage. It merely recognizes and promotes this type of relationship that exists and which protects the rights and serves the best interests of children and, therefore, of society. Research has consistently demonstrated that children fare best when raised, whenever possible, by their biological parents. The state has a vested interest in promoting this institution because it provides the ideal environment in which to raise the next generation of healthy and productive members of society.
Studies have debunked claims that children fare any differently with same-sex parents than with opposite-sex parents, but IFI has no problem clinging to this myth. Smith’s comments are offensive to all adoptive parents, including those who are heterosexual. Besides, Illinois same-sex couples are already raising children, and marriage will help those families. This coalition has made it clear it will rely on the old tropes of procreation to make their case, which suggests they will not be very effective at swaying opinion.