Southern Religion

Illinois’ Catholic governor stands his ground for civil unions there

Warned by his bishop (Thomas J. Paprocki) that “the Catholic Church does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural moral law,” Illinois’ Catholic governor Pat Quinn said Thursday, “I did the right thing.”

Dimitrios Kalantzis of The Daily Journal wrote:

Evoking women’s suffrage and the 1960s civil rights movement, Gov. Pat Quinn vowed to sign into law a bill legalizing same-sex civil unions, which was passed Wednesday by Illinois lawmakers.

. . .

“It’s always the right time to do the right thing,” Quinn said paraphrasing Martin Luther King Jr. during a press conference, when asked to address criticism that the state’s large debt and high jobless rate should take precedence over social issues.

The legislation was approved by the Illinois state house by a vote of 61-52 Tuesday night and approved by the Illinois Senate by a vote of 32-24 on Wednesday.

After the governor signs, the legislation will take effect on June 1, and provide same-sex couples in Illinois with protections formerly unavailable to them. For example, as Rex W. Huppke of the Chicago Tribune wrote:

Things like protecting gay and lesbian couples who have entered into a civil union from having to testify against each other in state courts, and giving a surviving partner the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. If a person has a pension, a same-sex partner in a civil union will be entitled to a survivor pension benefit.

The Pew Research Center reported in November that Americans are increasingly (39%) finding marriage obsolete, but the role of families as the most important element in our lives remains overwhelming (76%).

Families, in all of their glories variety.

December 2, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Illinois’ Catholic governor stands his ground for civil unions there

Illinois state Senate expected to approve civil unions for same-sex couples today

Supported by faith organizations, including representatives of more than 270 congregations who signed the Faith Petition, the Illinois General Assembly passed Tuesday night the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (SB 1716), which extends state law marriage protections to couples in committed civil unions, including same sex couples.

Ray Long, Monique Garcia and Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribute wrote:

As onlookers broke out into cheers, the House for the first time ever approved civil unions, with one vote to spare. Supporters expect the Senate to follow suit Wednesday, and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn campaigned this fall on a pledge to sign it into law

“We have a chance here, as leaders have had in previous generations, to correct injustice and to move us down the path toward liberty,” said sponsoring Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, one of two openly gay lawmakers, his voice breaking with emotion. “It’s a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of respect, it’s a matter of equality.”

Vigorous opposition from the Catholic Church and the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) could not overcome the momentum of public opinion. A Tribune Poll found “57 percent approved of legalizing civil unions while 32 percent disapproved.”

Opponents predicted a slide down some kind of “slippery slope” slide into an erosion of family values.

December 1, 2010 Posted by | Law, Politics, Religion | , | Comments Off on Illinois state Senate expected to approve civil unions for same-sex couples today