Legislature votes to change the definition of marriage in state

By Catholic New World
Sunday, November 10, 2013

The definition of marriage was redefined on Nov. 5 when state lawmakers voted to approve same-sex marriage in Illinois.

The measure passed the House 61 to 54, with two voting present and was approved by the Senate that evening. At press time, Gov. Pat Quinn was expected to sign the bill into law.

Illinois will be the 15th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex unions.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois, which serves at the public voice for the bishops and lay Catholics in state government, issued a statement about the decision:

“Today’s decision by Illinois lawmakers to change the definition of marriage not only goes against the common consensus of the human race — which understands that nature tells us that marriage is the union of one man and one woman — but it also undermines an institution that is the cornerstone of a healthy society,” the statement read. “The optimal condition in which to raise children is a home that includes both a mother and father, since women and men are not interchangeable.”

The statement said that the conference “is deeply disappointed that members of the General Assembly chose to redefine what is outside of its authority: a natural institution like marriage.” The organization also noted concern for threats to religious liberty that will surface with the passage of this law.

In his column for the Catholic New World in January, Cardinal George wrote, “Nature and Nature’s God, to use the expression in the Declaration of Independence of our country, give the human species two mutually complementary sexes, able to transmit life through what the law has hitherto recognized as a marital union. Consummated sexual relations between a man and a woman are ideally based on mutual love and must always be based on mutual consent, if they are genuinely human actions. But no matter how strong a friendship or deep a love between persons of the same sex might be, it is physically impossible for two men, or two women, to consummate a marital union.”

He went on to write, “A proposal to change this truth about marriage in civil law is less a threat to religion than it is an affront to human reason and the common good of society. It means we are all to pretend to accept something we know is physically impossible.”