State legislators of Illinois on Thursday were warned about the documented consequences of legalizing same-sex marriage. The Thomas More Society, a public interest law firm focused on protecting constitutional rights, sent letters to each member of the Illinois General Assembly, encouraging them to oppose the "Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act."
The missive, signed by Thomas Brejcha, president and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Society, and Peter Breen, executive director and Legal Counsel, advised the lawmakers that voting "yes" to the proposed same-sex marriage bill will harm, rather than support, constituents. If passed, explains the letter, the discriminatory act will declare Illinoisans who support traditional marriage to be bigoted and prejudicial. As in other states that have passed this type of legislation, public children as young as kindergarten may be taught about same-sex sexual activity, and parents who disapprove will have no right to opt their children out.
The Thomas More Society communique points out that the deceptively titled "Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" will actually strip away the meager religious liberty protections of the 2010 civil union law. The current law allows faith-based adoption agencies, hospitals, and schools to follow their deeply held convictions in regard to employment, facilities rental, and other decisions. Under the proposed act, threat of being charged with Illinois Human Rights Act violations will unconstitutionally coerce acceptance of same-sex unions.
The only documented benefit to Illinois' same-sex couples, assert Brejcha and Breen, would be a change in wording from "civil union license" to "marriage license," a vanity not worth the disenfranchisement of large segments of the state's population. The current law already provides same-sex couples the rights of married couples.
They contend that the proposed act will do great harm to the religious liberty all Americans are guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States. Rather than promote civic tolerance, the "Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act" will legalize intolerance.
Click to read the full Thomas More Society letter to the members of the Illinois General Assembly.
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