Equal Marriage For Illinois: Catholic Bishops Lose (Again), Other Catholics Win.

Illinois has just become the latest state in which Catholic bishops have lost in their fight against equal marriage. That’s the ninth US state inside the last 12 months, in addition to New Zealand, France, Uruguay, United Kingdom and Colombia earlier this year. More will follow.

As elsewhere, Catholic bishops have lobbied hard to defeat the measure – and other Catholics have worked hard in support.

The Illinois House on Tuesday voted 61-54 to approve same-sex marriage, setting up the state to become the 15th to allow gay marriages.

Supporters said they had the 60 votes needed to make same-sex marriage legal as of June 1, 2014, after support from House Speaker Mike Madigan pointed to the long-awaited vote finally taking place.

The bill that passed the Senate this year had an effective date of Jan. 1 and required 71 votes, but Rep. Greg Harris changed the date to June 1 to require only 60 votes. SB10 must now go back to the Senate for another vote before Gov. Pat Quinn signs it, a move he already said he supports.

“It feels kind of obvious,” Rep. Ann Williams said during the debate leading up to the vote. “Why wouldn’t we treat everyone the same?”

“Discrimination will not endure,” Rep. Jack Franks said. Madigan quoted Pope Francis, saying “Who am I to judge?

full report at  NBC Chicago.

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Bishop of Chicago Steps Up for Marriage Equality!

A more accurate title might be “Bishop of Chicago Continues to Step Up For Marriage Equality” because Bishop Jeffrey Lee has been such a consistent and valiant ally for equality both inside and outside the church. But the particular moment of “stepping up” I’m celebrating today was one that came out of his willingness to step up with a letter of support for marriage equality in Illinois — a letter that made the national news reporting on the legislation as it winds its way through the legislative process.

It was a moment of great delight as I sat on my day off happily having my second cup of day off coffee and watching a second hour of day off morning news to see this quote from Bishop Lee pop up on an MSNBC report. And thanks to the “rewind/pause” feature on my remote control and an iPhone camera hard-by and VOILA: the moment was “screen captured!”

My actual favorite quote from the letter was this one:

As a Christian, I believe that our society needs all of the sources and signs of grace that we can get. As a citizen of the United States, I believe in equal protection under the law. I believe that both ends will be served when marriage equality is the law of the land in Illinois, and I am grateful to be bishop in a church that offers all couples a community of faith, love, support and accountability.

Does it matter if a bishop speaks out on the issue of civil marriage equality? You bet it does. It matters to those in Illinois who will be speaking to their representatives in letters, calls and emails that they can say their faith tradition stands for equality for all.

via Rev. Susan Russell

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Gay Catholics Speak Out for Marriage Equality in Illinois

The Rainbow Sash Movement (Lesbian/Gay Catholics) challenges the policy arm of the Catholic Church in Illinois when that Conference makes the claim that it represents nearly 4 million Catholics in the State of Illinois on the issue of Gay Marriage; such a claim is not based in reality.



The Illinois Catholic Conference also states that marriage is unique because it’s a union between two genders and “same-sex marriage goes against nature.” This is another example of hierarchal bias of basic human rights and fairness for LGBT people. It is not reasonable to deny the evolution of marriage over the centuries with divorce and remarriage being the most obvious example of such evolution.

The Rainbow Sash Movement finds it difficult understand why the Illinois Catholic Conference would align itself with an organization which is part of the ex-gay movement to promote their anti-gay agenda. Courage was founded by Fr. John Harveybased on the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, and understands sexual orientation of the LGBT Community as a disease to be cured. The attempt to promote such bigotry under their conference is in our opinion not only offensive to the LGBT Community and most reasonable people, but is also lacking in any significant pastoral intent.

The promotion of such ideas by the Illinois Catholic Conference that love is an abomination when Lesbian and Gay couples practice it in Gay Marriage has its origins in ancient taboos, not nature. This only highlights how out of touch Catholic leaders are with the views of pew-sitting Catholics when it comes to Gay Marriage.

At issue is how to balance competing rights—to freedom of religious expression and freedom from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We believe it would be unfortunate to replace legal oppression of one community (LGBT couples) with legal oppression of another (Illinois Catholic Conference), and current Gay Marriage legislation to be introduced in January 2013 has built in protections to make sure this does not happen.

We want to remind our leaders the principles of our faith and church are based on: forgiveness, love, mercy and charity. Not the flawed opinions of men – even those in the church hierarchy. We are calling on our Bishops to refocus their attention on caring for the poor and vulnerable

The Rainbow Sash Movement believes that the Catholic Conference of Illinois has a right to create its own definition of the sacrament of marriage, but not to impose those beliefs on the people of Illinois who understand this as a question of basic fairness and social justice.

Perhaps it is time for the Church to remove itself from Civil Marriage if it cannot tolerate marriage equality which is defined by the state, and focus rather on sacramental marriage which is defined by the Church. The Catholic Conference of Illinois is stepping over the line when it tells non Catholic Churches who they can and cannot marry.

It is time to pass Gay Marriage in Illinois.

SOURCE Rainbow Sash Movement

PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1wZdx)

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Gay couples in Illinois sue for right to marry

Twenty-five Illinois gay and lesbian couples sued the state for the right to marry on Wednesday, a year after same-sex couples in Illinois were granted the right to enter into civil unions.

Six states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex couples to marry. The couples suing in Illinois say the civil union status sends the message that the state regards their relationships as inferior.

One case filed by lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union is led by Tanya Lazaro and Elizabeth Matos, who have two children and rejected registering as a civil union.

“We love each other; we are committed to one another,” said Lazaro, a Chicago police detective, in a statement. “Anything short of marriage does not recognize that love and commitment.”

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