According to the Windy City Times, Illinois lawmakers may begin consideration of marriage equality as soon as this afternoon, when a bill is introduced in committee, with a vote as early as tomorrow. To pass before the end of the lame duck session, it must pass both the House and Senate by January 9th. This past weekend, the White House encouraged the effort, claiming, “Were the President still in the Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure.” But the Catholic Archdiocese in Chicago was quick to rebuke the measure with a statement from Cardinal Francis George trying to claim the Church is not anti-gay because it supports gays and lesbians (if they’re chaste):
The Archdiocese offers Mass and other spiritual help to those who live their homosexuality anonymously (Courage groups) and also to those who want to be publicly part of the gay community (AGLO, which celebrates its twenty fifth anniversary this year). People live out their sexual identity in different ways, but the Church offers the means to live chastely in all circumstances, as the love of God both obliges and makes possible.
Should the lame duck legislature or the new Assembly take up the passage of a “same-sex marriage” law, it will be acting against the common good of society. We will all have to pretend to accept something that is contrary to the common sense of the human race.
George went on to claim that marriage equality puts society “in danger” because “our individual lives become artificial constructs protected by the civil ‘rights’ that destroy natural rights.” Aside from intending to sound scary, it’s unclear that the Church is able to articulate any valid consequence for marriage equality, choosing instead to demean same-sex families by claiming it’s “physically impossible” for them to “consummate a marriage.” George has a history of such incendiary rhetoric, having compared the gay rights movement to the Ku Klux Klan in December, 2011.
A poll conducted in early December shows a plurality of Illinois voters (47 percent) support marriage equality, especially those under the age of 45 (58 percent).