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Eleventh Hour Fight in Illinois

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

It's hard to believe that the legislature, facing issues like a $100 billion budget shortfall and the corresponding desperately needed pension reform, is spending hours of the taxpayers' time lobbying behind closed doors for same-sex 'marriage'!

But even if the legislature didn't have other pressing issues and higher priorities that they were ignoring, the proposal to redefine marriage would still be outrageous for two very simple reasons: it's bad policy and it's being pushed against the will of the people of the state.

Click here to contact your state representative today and let him or her know — in no uncertain terms — that the people of Illinois stand for marriage as the union of one man and one woman!

They didn't have the votes to pass this bad bill in the spring session. So gay 'marriage' activists poured MILLIONS of dollars into a lobbying campaign over the past few months trying to buy up the votes they need to impose their radical social agenda.

In spite of their efforts, right now it appears that a vote (if it is scheduled) could go either way. So it's absolutely critical that your representative hears from you right away.

Please act now to ensure that your opinion is heard in Springfield and that your representative voices and votes for your values in the House!

Unless we send this clear message to the legislature, they might think they can get away with sneaking the vote under the radar. They might think that people have become weary of tracking this long-fought-over bill and that this is their last opportunity. And if they pass that bill... well, I hardly need to remind you what the consequences would be.

We've seen how marriage redefinition leads to those who believe in traditional marriage being punished, labeled 'bigots' and 'haters' in the public square, and forced to be silent about their deeply held beliefs or face repercussions. And their children? They're taught in schools that the values planted in them at home are bigoted and outdated, the equivalent of racism!

We must not allow that to happen in Illinois! We cannot let the pro-marriage majority be relegated to a second-class citizenship status.

This is the 'eleventh hour' moment for this long fight. We can win a great victory, but only if you act right now to contact your state representative. Let the leaders in Springfield hear you loud and clear: the people of Illinois will not stand idly by and allow marriage to be redefined against their will.

Finally, after you have taken action today, please take a moment to forward this message to your family and friends throughout Illinois urging them to do the same.

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Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Crunch Time in Illinois: Vote to Redefine Marriage Reportedly to Be Scheduled for Next Week

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

Several news reports and discussions with Illinois pro-family leaders point to backers of same-sex marriage bringing the issue to the floor of the state House of Representatives for a vote next week.

This is crunch timeplease contact your state House Representative immediately to urge him or her to vote against redefining marriage.

The vote is too close to call and could go either way. Even backers of same-sex 'marriage' admit they don't yet have the votes. It's critically important that legislators hear from you right away.

Preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman is an incredibly important thing to do. Doing so keeps the focus of marriage on what's right for children, in addition to the benefits to the couple. The social science is crystal clear and confirms our own personal experience — children have the best chance of thriving when they experience the love of both a mother and a father.

Men and women make unique, irreplaceable, contributions to parenting. Both genders are needed for human flourishing. Backers of redefining marriage want to shift the purpose of marriage away from its central role in forming strong families and onto a public recognition of romantic relationships. That's a very slippery slope to travel.

Once we say that marriage simply is the state's recognition of a loving and committed relationship, we've lost any principled argument to limit it to two people, or to prevent other romantic entanglements from being called 'marriage' as well. This will be a very destabilizing force on society at a time when we should be working to strengthen families. Children have suffered decades of abandonment from absent fathers. Now with same-sex 'marriage' they are going to be told that fathers don't really matter after all. Or mothers for that matter, either.

That is the wrong message to deliver to our children and grandchildren.

Furthermore, whenever marriage is redefined people who believe in traditional marriage as God designed it are punished. Anyone who cannot accept this radical new idea of 'marriage' will soon find themselves in conflict with the law. Individuals have been sued and fined. Small businesses have been forced to close. Charities have shut down. The record is filled with examples of people being punished because their views about marriage come in conflict with the law. Tragically, it's religious freedom that is the loser.

Do you remember back to the controversy over Chick-Fil-A's CEO saying that he believed marriage should be the union of one man and one woman? The very thought sparked a furor among homosexual groups and their political allies. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel declared that Chick-Fil-A would never be allowed to do business in Chicago. All because their CEO supports traditional marriage!

So don't let anyone tell you otherwise — if marriage if redefined, there is going to be real harm inflicted on individuals, businesses and religious groups.

The future of marriage in Illinois hangs in the balance. We can win a great victory if you act right now to contact your state representative. If we fail to mobilize the faithful, we could well lose — and suffer the consequences for years to come.

Please, time is of the essence. I urge you to act today.

Faithfully,

Brian S. Brown

Thousands Rally to Defend Marriage in Illinois

The Illinois Family Institute's Defend Marriage Lobby Day is happening right now in Springfield. If you're near the Capitol in Illinois and are able to attend, go stand up for marriage with the brave folks in this video from a local news channel:

FOX 13 News

Get Active

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The next month is vital for the future of marriage in Illinois. Same-sex 'marriage' advocates have been working around the clock to gather votes — but now it's our turn.

G.K. Chesterton wrote: "...an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children literally alter the destiny of nations."

While gay 'marriage' activists have thrown millions of dollars and high-profile names at your legislators, it is now up to ordinary men, women, and children to secure the destiny of marriage in Illinois.

The special legislative session is just about upon us — October 22, 23, 24 & November 5, 6, 7 — and we need all marriage champions in Illinois to stand strong and make every effort to tell their legislators to not redefine marriage.

There are three ways in particular you can make a difference for marriage today:

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This is our time to make a difference.

Standing strong with you,

Brian S. Brown

P.S. I hope you are able join the Illinois Family Institute at their Marriage Lobby Day on October 23rd. Here is the bus information if you need to arrange transportation to Springfield.

Bus Locations for Marriage Lobby Day

Buffalo Grove area
St. Mary School
10 N. Buffalo Grove Rd (intersection of Lake-Cook & Buffalo Grove) in Buffalo Grove
Contact Fred Sturgeon — 847-344-8791 or Ted Valenti — 847-910-2009
Leaving at 7:15 am (school bus) and returning from Capitol at 2:30 PM
Cost per person: $20

Chicago area
Israel Methodist Community Church
7616 Cottage Grove, Chicago
Departing at 6 am
Returning from Capitol at 2:30 pm
Contact Dr. Crawford, Pro-Life Pro-Family Coalition, (773) 960-5656 or (773) 483-1131
Cost per person: $10 (includes lunch)

Queen of All Saints Basilica
6280 N. Sauganash Ave. in Chicago
The bus leaves at 5:30 AM
Contact the Archdiocese of Chicago's Respect Life Office, 312-534-5355
Cost per person: $25 (includes lunch)

Crystal Lake area
St. Thomas The Apostle Church (176th & Oak St.) in Crystal Lake
Departing @ 6: AM and returning from Capitol @ 2:00 PM
Contact Phil Weyna, McHenry County Right to Life, 815-861-5847
Cost per person: $30

Hobby Lobby in the parking lot
6250 Northwest Hwy Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Departing at 6:00 AM and return to Crystal Lake at 6:00 PM
Register at www.truthexchange.net
Questions: Email KathyBarnette@TruthExchange.net

Lansing area
Faith Church at 100 — 81st Ave. Dyer, IN 46311
Departing at 6:30 AM (church van(s)) and returning from Capitol at 12:30 PM
Contact Bob Hofstra, 708-257-7772
Cost per person: TBA

Libertyville area
Marytown - 1600 W Park Ave. (Butterfield Rd & Rt 176) in Libertyville
Departs from Marytown at 6:00 AM and returning from Capitol at 2:00 PM
Contact Bonnie Quirke, Lake County Right to Life, 847-644-8456
Cost per person: $35

O'Fallon area
WalMart at 1530 W US Hwy 50 in O'Fallon
Departing at 8:30 AM (school bus) and returning at 4:00 PM
Contact Ken Brosh, 618-540-5960
Cost per person: $13

Western Springs Area
St. John of the Cross Catholic Church
5005 S. Wolf Road in Western Springs
Contact the Archdiocese of Chicago's Respect Life Office, 312-534-5355
Cost per person: $25 (includes lunch)

Wheaton area
Wheaton Wesleyan Church at 1300 S President St, Wheaton
Departing at 5:30 AM and returning from Capitol at 3:00 PM
Contact Dick Norton, 630-260-1135
Cost per person: $34

Freeport area
East Gate Christian Center
1650 S. Armstrong Ave. in Freeport
Contact Pastor Steve Barr at 815-541-5898
Cost per person: $5

Flock to the Capitol

“If same-sex “marriage” becomes the law in Illinois, the ramifications for our children will be disastrous.  We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines.” Illinois Family Institute

Even while NOM battles on the national stage with the IRS, the battle to protect marriage in Illinois continues on.  Our friends at the Illinois Family Institute are calling all marriage champions from all over Illinois to “Flock to the Capitol” on October 23rd for the Defend Marriage Lobby Day.

Defend Marriage Lobby DayCHILDREN will be taught implicitly and explicitly that mothers and fathers are interchangeable and that mothers or fathers are expendable…

CHILDREN need, deserve, and have a right to both a mother and a father. Social science research consistently demonstrates that children with both a mother and father fare better than do motherless or fatherless children. Mothers and fathers bring critical and different components to child-rearing. Purposely placing children in fatherless or motherless homes is tragic and will have negative consequences for future generations. Most societal ills can be traced to the breakdown of the natural family. Redefining family and marriage to include two people of the same sex will only further weaken marriage, family, and ultimately society.

They’ve even produced a 2-minute video for you to show in your church promoting this important day.

They're also helping to arrange buses to Springfield from across the region.  We encourage you to take the time on October 23rd to stand for marriage in Springfield, Illinois.

Keep Up the Good Work

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

You may have heard media reports in the past week that the sponsors of the same-sex 'marriage' bill are reconsidering their strategy of calling the bill for a vote during the veto session this fall. This is good news, but we can't let up yet.

It means that your efforts — the emails, the calls, and the in-person visits to legislators — are making a difference.

If those who would redefine marriage had the votes to push through their bill, they would not be equivocating about calling the vote this fall. Despite all their money and big names, they have not yet been able to overcome the voice of the people.

However, we can't stop yet. We must keep the pressure on legislators so there can be no doubt in their minds that the people of Illinois do not want marriage redefined. Keep calling — keep writing — keep visiting — and get your family and friends to do the same.

And don't forget the Illinois Family Institute's lobbying day on Wednesday October 23. This will be a crucial opportunity for true marriage champions to join together in Springfield — before the Legislature and before the media — to take a stand for marriage.

The only way we will defeat the special interest groups with their multi-million dollar campaign and high-profile lobbyists is if we continue to stand together and make our voices heard. And so far so good — let's keep up the good work.

Finally, if you are able, please consider a generous donation to the National Organization for Marriage today.

It's a great time make a contribution because your gift will be doubled dollar-for-dollar in our $1 million matching campaign. NOM relies on gifts from people just like you to multiply your voices in the halls of power. Whether it be telephone calls to constituents, advertisements, or organizing rallies and marches — just to name a few — it is only through the generous contributions of marriage champions from across the country that NOM is able to help you make your voice heard.

We're making progress in Illinois. Your voices have given our opponents pause and caused them to begin reconsidering their strategy. But the situation in Springfield is still fluid and we can't afford to let up now. Let's continue to stand together to protect marriage in Illinois.

Faithfully yours,

Brian S. Brown

The "Least of Illinois' Concerns"

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At TownHall.com, Sarah Jane Seman offers a response to a recent claim by an Illinois lawmaker that by not redefining marriage, Illinois is "missing out on [an] economic opportunity."

Seman references our friend Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse's able take-down of the arguments from economics:

[A leading report on the economic advantages of same-sex marriage] give[s] the illusion of precision, however, the entire report is incorrect because premises are flawed, Morse explained.

For example, it calculated a fiscal increase from weddings between in-state residents. This is not added money to the economy, it is merely redirecting cash. The only increase to the state budget would come from out-of-state residents.

Read the entire piece here.

And, if you're a resident of Illinois, click here to send a message to the Illinois legislature to vote against redefining marriage when they reconvene next month.

Illinois Marriage Alert

National Organization for Marriage

Dear Marriage Supporter,

The next six weeks will very likely decide the fate of marriage in Illinois. Gay 'marriage' activists have declared "We will keep fighting until we win."

The legislature will resume debating the redefinition of marriage during a special legislative session scheduled to run October 22, 23 & 24, as well as November 5, 6, & 7.

I have to ask you, "Whose resolve will be stronger?"

Will true marriage champions like you and me continue to stand and defend God's definition of marriage? Will you and I bring our family and friends to the battle? It will take every one of us, using our time, talent, and treasure, to stop this onslaught against the holy institution of marriage.

Earlier this year genderless marriage was stopped in Illinois, particularly by the efforts of black pastors who worked hard to communicate with legislators, who responded by opposing the legislation. These legislators have since been the target of a multi-million dollar campaign to buy their votes.

Gay 'marriage' activists, with their millions of dollars have co-opted the unions and other liberal special interest groups into their cause, and they've even got former Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady lobbying in Springfield for them.

I'm confident our heroes and allies have remained strong but they need your support.

There are four things you can do today, that will only take a few minutes, to make a difference:

Make a generous contribution to the National Organization for Marriage. Right now a generous donor who is confident we can win the marriage debate has promised to match every dollar NOM raises between now and the end of the year — up to $1 million. If you haven't already, this is a great time to take advantage of this special opportunity.

Send a message to your legislator urging them to reject the redefinition of marriage (House Bill 110). Use this link to easily send your message and make your voice heard in the halls of Springfield. We stopped them this spring... we can do it again — with your help!

Attend the Defend Marriage Day on Wednesday October 23rd at the State House. Our friends at the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) are hosting this event. Join IFI and Illinois families from around the state to take a stand to protect marriage, religious freedom, parental rights and the innocence of our children! Plan to bring your family and friends, AND organize your church to support the second Defend Marriage Lobby Day this year.

Finally, please forward and share this email with as many family and friends as possible. Multiply your voice in Springfield, multiply your presence at the Lobby Day, and multiply your donation by urging like-minded marriage champions to get involved and stand with you.

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We know those who would redefine marriage are relentless — the fact is we have to be just as committed as they are. This next six weeks will take all the strength, time, and contributions we can all muster to protect true marriage and the right of our children to be known and cared for by a mom and a dad.

Thank you for standing strong.

For our children and families,

Brian S. Brown

Defend Marriage Lobby Day in Illinois!

If you live in Illinois, mark your calendar now! The Illinois Family Institute will be hosting the second annual Defend Marriage Lobby Day & Prayer Watch on Wednesday, October 23rd.  This is an incredibly important opportunity to stand for marriage.  The Illinois legislature is coming back into session for 3 days and homosexual-'marriage' advocates have dedicated $3 million to winning over the courageous black legislators who stood for marriage earlier this year.  Let these men and women know that you stand with them.

IFI_Lobby-Day-Oct-23-2013_2upJoin IFI and Illinois families from around the state to take a stand to protect marriage, religious freedom, parental rights and the innocence of our children! Plan to bring your family and friends AND organize your church to support this second Defend Marriage Lobby Day.

It is critically important that we have a strong showing because homosexual activists continue to press for counterfeit "marriage" (SB 10), which will affect all of society, especially children and religious freedom.  The groups pushing to pass this bill are planning to be at the Capitol on October 22nd, the day before our event. According to a 6-12-13 Windy City Times article, they have dubbed it "10.000 Families March for Marriage Equality."

Wednesday, October 23rd
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Illinois State Capitol
401 South 2nd St, Springfield, IL 62701

Download the flyer here.

Illinois Lawmakers Need to Hear from You!

Illinois Family Institute:

It’s almost hard to believe, but there are still several state lawmakers who claim they are “on the fence” on same-sex “marriage” legislation, SB10.  The proponents of same-sex “marriage” have not stopped putting pressure on them and it’s critical that they hear from folks who oppose redefining marriage!

Volunteers NeededSame-sex “marriage” activists have not taken a summer break and have been in full swing over the summer months while most families take some time off for vacations. They are planning a Springfield rally and have launched  a$2 million dollar campaign effort to put people on the ground in many districts statewide.

Pro-family citizens must speak up and take action.  If we don’t, many “on the fence” representatives will cave-in to the tremendous pressure from the homosexual lobby.  The LGBT community is laser focused and relentlessly pursing their goal, and we must courageously step forward to preserve marriage as God created it. Passing same-sex “marriage” will have devastating consequences to children,businesses and people of faith.

It is vitally important to the future of your children and grandchildren to sacrifice a few hours of your time now to help stop this assault on marriage and the family.  If you are able to volunteer, please do so!

Take ACTION:  Please call the IFI office at (708) 781-9328 to learn more or to sign up as a volunteer. Thank you in advance! We look forward to hearing from you!

"Defending the Natural Family" Summit to Commence in Chicago August 29-31

It's a critical month for marriage in Illinois. So what better time for a "Defending the Natural Family" Summit! African American leaders, pastors, and citizens from across the state of Illinois and the nation will be gathering later this month to discuss the plight of the black family and how best to defend it.

From Christian News Wire:

Defending the Natural Family SummitOn August 29-31, 2013 Pastors, Christian Leaders, Political Activist and Concerned Citizens from across the country will convene at the Pheasant Run Inn Resort in St. Charles, Illinois to discuss, among other things, how together we begin to turn the tide in our communities amidst cultural norms and values, which have contributed to the growing attack, and subsequent breakdown, of the natural family.

The Summit, entitled Defending the Natural Family: R.I.S.E. to Rebuild the Foundation of Black America, will feature the partnership of national, state and local leaders prepared to address key issues and challenges facing, in particular, Black America. Pointing to recent efforts in Illinois by predominantly Black pastors to advert attempts to make homosexual marriage legal, Freedom's Journal Institute (FJI) president and Black Conservative Summit (BCS) organizer Eric M. Wallace, PhD asserts "the battle is not over, and the impeding of homosexual marriage is not enough. The epidemic of out of wedlock births, gang violence, abortion and school drop out rates are just a few of the symptoms of a much bigger problem plaguing the Black community."

Though, by in large, the conservative movement has been poorly branded within the African American community, Summit organizers believe the BCS's focus on defending the natural family will serve, as a catalyst for uniting and creating much needed dialogue between Black conservative leaders and the African American constituency.

Check out the list of confirmed speakers already lined up for the Summit and download the flyer here.

Illinois Judge To Make Decision Next Month on Whether to Dismiss ACLU Lawsuit

CitizenLink:

Judge-GavelA Cook County judge announced today that she will make her decision next month in a case challenging Illinois’ definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal are suing on behalf of 25 same-sex couples claiming the 1996 law violates the state Constitution. Circuit Judge Sophia Hall will decide on Sept. 27 whether to dismiss the case.

Peter Breen, with the Thomas More Society (TMS), told CitizenLink what stood out the most during today’s hearing were the arguments about parenting.

“The other side is arguing that a child’s biological parents can be replaced by any two people —with the same outcome for the child,” said Breen, executive director and legal counsel for TMS, a public interest law firm in Chicago. “We say that a child needs both a mom and a dad.”

Read more of Thomas More Society special counsel Paul Linton's argument against the lawsuit here.

Thomas More Society Says Illinois Lawsuit by Same-Sex Couple Has No Legal Basis

The Thomas More Society is calling for the dismissal of two lawsuits brought by Illinois same-sex marriage activists, represented by the ACLU and Lambda Legal, attacking the state's law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman:

"Yesterday, constitutional scholar Paul Linton cited overwhelming legal authority that contradicts and undermines plaintiffs' ostensible legal basis for their attack on marriage," said Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Society. "Plaintiffs' counsel repeatedly argued that homosexual couples shouldn't be denied the right to marry because they love each other. But this ignores the purpose of marriage, which is founded on the biological, scientific truth that only male-female unions may be blessed with offspring -- little boys and girls -- whether planned or unplanned, for which the institution of marriage affords a stable framework within which these infants may be nurtured, reared, and educated to adulthood.

"Stretching plaintiffs' rationale to the limits of their logic, why or how could they bar or limit the legality of 'marriages' between brothers and sisters, so long as they profess 'love' toward one another, or between cousins of close consanguinity, let alone polygamy, or polyandry, or even polyamory. Thus the plaintiffs' rationale goes far beyond the pale, founders on its own illogic, and affords no good reason at all for overturning our traditional, classic understanding of this vital social institution..." -Standard News Wire

Protecting Marriage in Illinois

Cardinal George Doubles-Down on Decision to Defund Pro-SSM Immigration Group

Responding to renewed criticism of his decision to defund the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights because of its overt support for same-sex marriage, Francis Cardinal George, archbishop of Chicago, Ill., has reaffirmed the move.

CHICAGO CARDINAL CELELEBRATES MASS DURING WORLD YOUTH DAY IN AUSTRALIA

In a July 29 statement, Cardinal George stated that the coalition, “broke faith with its member organizations when it publicly supported so called 'same-sex marriage.’ For its own political advantage, it introduced a matter extraneous to its own purpose and betrayed its own members, who were not consulted.”

Cardinal George was referring to the coalition’s May 2013 statement supporting “marriage equality” claiming that “full equality and civic participation should extend to…same-sex partnerships.”

The prelate took issue with claims that his decision effectively abandoned the poor: “It is intellectually and morally dishonest to use the witness of the Church’s concern for the poor as an excuse to attack the Church’s teaching on the nature of marriage.”

His response also quoted Pope Francis' description of natural marriage as a union founded on “the acknowledgement and acceptance of the goodness of sexual differentiation, whereby spouses can become one flesh and are enabled to give birth to a new life.”

In the cardinal’s conclusion he admonished his critics, saying “The Church is no one’s private club, she is the Body of Christ.”  And he reminded those who signed the open letter criticizing the decision and supporting same-sex marriage that “...in a few years, like each of us, they will stand before this same Christ to give an account of their stewardship.

“Jesus is merciful, but he is not stupid; he knows the difference between right and wrong. Manipulating both immigrants and the Church for political advantage is wrong.”

You can read the story here, and you read Cardinal George’s entire statement here.

Thomas More Society Defending Illinois Marriage Law

The Thomas More Society is defending Illinois' marriage law in court after state officials refused to do so:

ThomasMore"Opponents of a lawsuit challenging Illinois' gay marriage ban say the Supreme Court's decision to strike down the federal Defense of Marriage Act won't change their legal strategy.

The Thomas More Society represents Illinois county clerks defending the state law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The ACLU and a gay-rights group challenged the law last summer on behalf of more than two dozen couples.

Thomas More attorney Paul Linton says the court's decision to strike down the federal law still doesn't offer a definitive ruling on the constitutionality of gay marriages in individual states.

The ruling will allow gay Illinois couples with marriage licenses from other states to receive federal benefits. Linton says it's premature to say whether the society will try to prevent that. (AP)

Efforts to redefine marriage via the legislature have been defeated so far.