Dear Marriage Supporter,
"Not Enough Votes!"
Too. Close. To. Call.
That's what the liberal Chicago Defender just called the vote—"Too close to call."
Not. Enough. Votes. That's what a spokeswoman for Senate President John Cullerton told The Associated Press late Thursday: "There aren't currently enough votes to pass it on the floor."
What a difference 48 hours makes!
Not 'Inevitable' After All
Listen, we always knew this January would be full of tough, tough battles, with gay marriage advocates pushing gay marriage legislation deep in one-party blue states, like Illinois.
Just a few weeks ago, after the November elections, Equality Illinois was promising to "ride this momentum [for gay marriage] to its inevitable victory in Illinois."
But a funny thing happened on the way to "inevitability"—YOU!
You—and thousands of other decent, loving, law-abiding Americans—spoke up for God's truth about marriage! And yesterday the Illinois Senate adjourned without a vote on the gay marriage bill. The state senate was expected to meet on Friday to vote for gay marriage; but instead, they've unexpectedly cancelled Friday's session and adjourned for the weekend.
"The fate of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage has been called into question," the Windy City Media group reports. "Repeated foibles have raised serious question about whether the vote can pass by January 9."
The AP reports: "Expectations were high that Cullerton's Democrats would approve a gay marriage bill. A committee OK'd the measure Thursday, but backers are uncertain when they'll call it for a floor vote after the proposal hit several unexpected snags."
Heather Steans, the sponsor of the gay marriage bill, told the gay publication The Chicago Phoenix late Thursday that she plans to move the bill on Tuesday... if she can "account for the 30 'yes' votes necessary to pass the bill."
"Right now, we are missing some of our 'yes' votes as I think some of you know," Steans told the Pheonix. "So I think we are likely to be back down here again. Things are very fluid down here as you know."
'Very fluid'... let me translate: she doesn't yet have the votes.
We've Been Here Before
A poll of Illinois voters by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling late last year found only a minority of Illinois voters support gay marriage (47 percent). A poll in September by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, which offered voters the option of civil unions, found just 43.6 percent of Illinois residents approve of gay marriage, with 31.8 percent preferring the current law of civil unions and 20.2 percent saying there should be no legal recognition of such unions.
But despite ongoing public opposition, Pat Brady—chairman of the Illinois Republican Party—on Wednesday threw his "full support" behind the gay marriage bill, calling it "the best conservative principles."
He also claimed religious freedom would be protected.
Right, we heard those promises about Illinois' civil unions bill!
The civil unions bill (passed just 18 months ago) also had the Orwellian title, "The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act." Equality Illinois promised that the bill would protect religious liberty. In fact, they promised that "[the] act would... not impact faith-based adoption agencies or adoption procedures" [emphasis added].
The bill's sponsor, State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria), also promised on the floor that the bill would not affect Christian adoption agencies. But before the ink was dry, homosexual activists were charging Catholic Charities, Evangelical Child and Family Services and other Christian adoption agencies with "discrimination"—and they succeeded in shutting down these caring Christian services for abused and abandoned children.
Here's the eyewitness testimony of three families who adopted children through Evangelical Children and Family Services, one of the adoption agencies driven from the public square because they honor traditional Christian views on marriage and family:
Is this what Pat Brady considers a 'conservative value'?
Like you, I was appalled.
So on Thursday NOM, with your help, threw down the gauntlet: We called for turncoat Pat Brady's resignation. We pledged $250,000 to help Illinois voters who care about marriage "retire" any Republican who votes for gay marriage.
Pat Brady's move is not just wrong; it's stupid.
David Cameron tried it in Great Britain: by pushing gay marriage, he's instigated what one newspaper called the "biggest rebellion" against his so-called Conservative party in a generation.
Four Republicans in the New York state senate also tried it and cast their votes for gay marriage.
The whole political establishment showered these turncoats with cash and lionized their "courage" for betraying the values of the people who put them in office. But with your help, NOM made sure at election time voters knew about this betrayal of their constituents' core values, and in the end the voters had the last word.
Even the New York Times eventually had to concede, "As four Republican state senators, one by one, agreed to break with their party and cast a politically risky vote to legalize same-sex marriage last year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and gay-rights advocates vowed to do everything in their power to protect them against political retribution. But when the Legislature returns to Albany next month, only one of those four senators will be among those sworn into office."
Coalition Continues To Build In Illinois
Gay marriage was supposed to be a done deal in the Land of Lincoln. But then you and thousands of Illinoisans swung into action. Thank you!
Of course, NOM is only one part of a broad coalition that continues to grow. We are so grateful to the Illinois Family Institute, among many others.
After NOM took the lead, more Illinois conservative voices are standing up to Pat Brady's betrayal, conservative leaders in Illinois have begun speaking up against Pat Brady's betrayal of the Illinois Replublicans.
McLean County GOP chairman John Parrot is quoted by the Illinois Review stating his strong opinion on this matter: "You can put me on the record that I want Pat Brady to step down due to his actions of supporting Gay Marriage, which is against the Illinois Republican Party Platform."
Karen Hayes, another platform committee member, said it more strongly still: "Pat Brady needs to step down now. Sadly, he has embarrassed himself and the Illinois Republican Party."
Republican Party figures in the state are planning a press conference on the steps of the capitol to fight back against Brady's mischaracterization of gay marriage as a "conservative value."
Meanwhile, the voices of more than 1,700 faith communities from all different religious traditions—from Missouri-Synod Lutherans to Mormons to Muslims—swelled into a chorus in a recent joint statement, urging: don't do this; don't redefine marriage. Marriage, these religious leaders wrote, "is the natural order embracing the complementary physical, emotional and spiritual design of men and women."
Cardinal George and the other Illinois Catholic bishops sent a powerful letter to priests urging them to urge their flock to call legislators: "Civil laws that establish 'same-sex marriage' create a legal fiction," George and the bishops contended. "The state has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible."
Meanwhile, late in the week, NBC Chicago's blog was reminiscing about the so-called "first same-sex wedding in Illinois" which took place on Dec. 12, 1995, in the small town of Lanford, which lies between Rockford and Elgin:
Leon Carp, the co-owner of a diner called the Lanford Lunchbox, married his boyfriend Scott at the Lanford Women's Club, in a ceremony that featured Judy Garland impersonators, male strippers, Michelangelo's David wearing a pink feather boa, and a red heart reading GAY LOVE, GAY POWER.
It was a Hollywood fiction, an episode of the comedy show Roseanne. Hollywood came back to Illinois this week, full circle, when the star of TV's Modern Family, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, appeared to lobby legislators. He sported a special custom bow tie that he is selling to raise money for gay marriage—not a feather boa, but the message that Hollywood supports gay marriage was unmistakably clear.
Hollywood will not have the last word, though, I promise you.
Finally, I owe a word of thanks to Bishop Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, who sent his own letter to be read in parishes this Sunday. He writes powerfully:
Our state's elected lawmakers will soon consider a bill called "The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act." A more fraudulent title for this dangerous measure could not be imagined. The proposed law is, in truth, a grave assault on both religious liberty and marriage. [...]
[N]either two men nor two women can possibly form a marriage. Our law would be lying if it said that they could. The basic structure of marriage as the exclusive and lasting relationship of a man and a woman, committed to a life which is fulfilled by having children, is given to us in human nature, and thus by nature's God. [...]
This so-called "religious freedom" bill would not stop the state from obligating the Knights of Columbus to make their halls available for same-sex "weddings". It would not stop the state from requiring Catholic grade schools to hire teachers who are legally "married" to someone of the same sex. Nor would it protect me, the Bishop of Springfield, if I refused to employ someone in a same-sex "marriage." [...]
Why should we expect it to be otherwise? After all, we would be people who, according to the thinking behind the bill, hold onto an "unfair" view of marriage. The state would have equated our view with bigotry—which it uses the law to marginalize in every way short of criminal punishment."
He ends by calling all people of good will, but especially the faithful Catholics under his care, to "defeat this perilous proposal."
Nature and nature's God both teach us that marriage is the union of husband and wife for a reason.
Listen: these are hard tough, fights; I am not going to lie to you. Nothing is certain—except this: we will be there standing as your voice for your values; they knock us down, we get back up, and we will continue to fight for what is right and true and good about marriage.
And, with your help, we are making a huge difference!
Thank you, and God bless you!
Until next week, stay strong.
This message has been authorized and paid for by the National Organization for Marriage, 2029 K Street NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20006, Brian Brown, President. This message has not been authorized or approved by any candidate.