During the last lame duck session, the Illinois General Assembly enacted civil unions. Now, the kissing cousin to gay marriage is just days away there.
When June 1 rolls around, two men or two women will be able to unite in a civil union for the first time in Illinois history.
David Smith, executive of the Illinois Family Institute, continues to denounce the move. As he sees it, civil unions are an issue that is already affecting the civil rights of people of faith.
"What is happening here in Illinois is a tragic attempt by radical forces to advance a political agenda by using the authority of the government to validate wrong and unhealthy relationships," says Smith. "Unfortunately, this social experiment will have a ripple effect on our culture that will touch every American and, most tragically, our children."
Smith predicts three clear dangers of the enactment. First, homosexuality will be taught as normal to children in schools. Second, political lawsuits and administrative actions will be used to intimidate, silence and coerce individuals and organizations that object to special legislation for those who self-identify as homosexual. And third, disrespect for real marriage will grow as politicians embrace the "civil unions" compromise, and straight couples will exploit these laws as a substitute for marriage.
"The government has no reason to provide affirmation or benefits to relationships that do not serve the public good—and relationships based on same-sex attraction and volitional homosexual acts do not per se serve the public good. Lawmakers should be looking at ways to strengthen the natural family, not undermine it," Smith says.
"The state of Illinois has a compelling interest to recognize, protect and promote the God-ordained institution of marriage through legal benefits, as it is the best environment to raise the next generation. The state has no compelling interest in legally recognizing homosexual relationships."
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