|Pro-family activism that makes a difference!|
Huge "gay marriage" battle in Illinois legislature. Statewide pro-family forces winning!
Currently stalled in House as fight for votes continues.
POSTED: March 8, 2013
The Illinois Legislature is just one step away from legalizing same-sex "marriage" in that state. But right now it's stalled, and the bill could likely be stopped. That's because the pro-family forces there are putting up one of the best statewide lobbying fights we've ever seen. They are considerably outdoing the homosexual groups in a state where nobody thought that bill could be halted.
Of course, in Illinois -- home state of Obama -- anything can happen. The political establishment strongly backs same-sex "marriage." But pro-family activists, churches, and regular people from across the state are fighting incredibly hard. "We're being outspent, but we're outworking them," said Dave Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), the main pro-family group in the state and part of the coalition fighting this. [Note: All photos in this report are from IFI except where noted.]
Timeline: How the bill got to this point
How the "gay marriage" bill in Illinois got to this point should not surprise any of us. It's the same kind of legislative underhandedness that we've seen around the country:
HOW THE PRO-FAMILY COALITION HAS BEEN FIGHTING BACK
We are very impressed with this. As we said, it looked like a freight train coming. But the statewide pro-family coalition in Illinois -- effectively being led by the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) along with the Catholic Conference of Illinois, hundreds of Protestant churches, and other groups -- has been outstanding.
They are up against the Democratic political establishment, including the Governor, other top elected officials, the Illinois homosexual lobby, and the Rahm Emanuel Chicago political machine. And of course, the media is completely on the radicals' side.
But across the state, the pro-family forces seem to be beating them back. Here are some of the highlights from the last several weeks:
• Strong letter from the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
On January 1, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago sent a powerful letter to every priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago strongly opposing the "gay marriage" efforts, and asked that the letter be included in the parish bulletins. He also made it available to the press.
Cardinal George did not mince words. Quotes from the letter:
The Illinois General Assembly is being asked to consider a bill called "The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act." This is a deceptive title that ignores basic truths.
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.
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.
We're sure this has made a big difference in the large Catholic community in Illinois.
• Effective information and instructions for activists from IFI
IFI put together some of the most effective information and instructions for activists and citizens to use, that we've seen. It's clear, bold, and gets to the heart of the matter.
It's a refreshing change from the wimpy, often logically incoherent stuff that comes from a lot of pro-family groups. We think this has helped a lot.
• Aggressive robo-calls
Thousands of people across Illinois, and particularly in key South Chicago districts, were aggressively informed that their legislators needed to hear from immediately on this issue. Much of this was paid for by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), though other groups also were involved.
• Major events around the state to educate Illinois pastors
This was a big boost. In early February, IFI held three successful events to bring pastors into the fight. In South Chicago 125 pastors showed up. The second, in Peoria, attracted 60 pastors. Then, in Collinsville, 100 pastors came. From this grew a very a powerful and energized force in this fight, spreading to more churches.
• Huge statewide "Defend Marriage Lobby Day" at State House
On Wednesday, February 20, nearly 5,000 people from across the state converged on the Illinois State House for the Defend Marriage Lobby Day. It was the largest such gathering there in memory. By 1 pm that afternoon all 4,000 of the marriage buttons had been given out. The crowd was so big that the Fire Marshall closed the Capitol, leaving many standing in the 19-degree weather outside. (So those outside held their own rally!)
The lobbying inside was very well organized by IFI and very effective. There is no question that this made a huge impression on the legislators there.
Outrageously, NONE of the Chicago TV stations or newspapers reported on this giant event at all, though they all knew about it and their State House reporters were there! It's unbelievable, but that's the incredible bias of the liberal press. See IFI's commentary of the press blackout.
WATCH VIDEO by IFI of Defend Marriage Lobby Day.
• Thousands of MassResistance same-sex "marriage" booklets distributed
Citizens across Illinois are finding out just how horribly "gay marriage" will likely affect their state if this passes.
IFI printed over 9,000 copies of the MassResistance booklet, "What same-sex 'marriage' has done to Massachusetts." In addition, they've printed 5,000 copies of the booklet in Spanish for the Hispanic churches. Plus, MassResistance has sent over 1,000 copies to activists and pastors in Illinois.
IFI also made sure that every state legislator received at least one copy. IFI's Dave Smith said that lawmakers have thanked him for the booklets. "Thank you for sending me that. I had no clue!" one legislator told him.
• Aggressive lobbying of House members by pastors & congregations
Enormous credit must be given to church leaders and their congregations across the state for stepping up and confronting their state legislators on this bill. In meetings, town hall events, phone calls, and emails, legislators have gotten the message loud and clear. The sheer numbers of pro-family people cannot be matched by the homosexual activists. We've been told that many legislators have never seen this kind of outpouring before.
Pastors brought a black ex-lesbian to the State House who talked to several legislators, letting them know that people aren't "born that way." Many legislators had never met an ex-gay, or even knew that such people existed.
The black and Hispanic pastors have been especially effective. On Thursday, March 7, over 200 went to the State House. When a legislator who's not voting pro-family gets surrounded by 30-40 of his angry constituents, we were told, he gets the message pretty quickly! In addition, the fact that there's a big difference between civil rights and sexual behavior was made loud and clear. (That same day, the homosexual presence in the Capitol consisted of two Washington DC lobbyists in the Speaker's office trying to shake down a few House members. Which do you think had the most direct impact?)
What will happen next?
The next week or two could determine what happens to this bill. Will it pass the House and get signed by the Governor (who has promised to sign it) or will it fall by the wayside?
Technically, it's still "alive" for quite a while. This session closes on May 31, then re-opens in November 2013 until May 31, 2014. It re-opens again in November 2014 for a lame-duck session until early January 2015. A vote could theoretically take place any time through then. But the sense is that if the the pro-gay forces can't get the necessary support in the next few weeks, their momentum will start to collapse and their only real chance will be to try to drum it up again in the 2014 lame-duck session.
Of course, the fear is always that in Barack Obama's home state no tactic is too low or out of bounds. It could still slip through. But the pro-family people have promised they're going to be on top of this every minute.
On paper, our side should win this. The other side had fully expected to muscle this through easily, then ran into a pro-family buzz-saw! We'll keep you informed.