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Religious Tolerance logo

Same-sex marriages (SSM) & civil unions in Illinois.

2013-JAN: Group wants lawmakers excommunicated.
Republican Party chair supports SSM.

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This topic is continued from a previous essay.

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2013-JAN-01: Pro-life group in Illinois asks Catholic Church to publicly excommunicate legislators:

TruthInRockford, a pro-life group in Rockford, IL asked that Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and the other Bishops in Illinois publicly excommunicate all Catholic state legislators who vote in favor of the proposed SSM bill.

Over a picture of Governor Quinn (D) on their web site, they posted a message:

"All politicians who claim to be Catholic but vote to kill babies in the womb or promote acts of sodomy have incurred an automatic excommunication. If the Bishops would make these excommunications public, it could have the effect of changing the hearts of these politicians and it would be a sign to the world that destroying life and rejecting God can also destroy souls." 1

They also posted the following open letter on their home page:

"Illinois has a Catholic Governor, Pat Quinn, who publicly supports murdering babies in the womb and the soul-destroying legalization of homosexual marriage.  Governor Quinn proudly and publicly claims he does these evils because of his faith. All of our Illinois Bishops remain silent in the face of this mockery of the life, marriage, and the Catholic Faith.

Governor Quinn is also under the authority of Cardinal George who has flatly refused to use his authority to discipline Gov. Quinn. Is it any wonder that our 'Catholic' Governor continues his destruction of human life and families when the leader of the Church in Illinois refuses to use the authority of his office to excommunicate a Governor who uses his Catholic faith and political power to destroy countless human lives and souls.

Recent comments from Cardinal George about the possibility of homosexual marriage being passed in Illinois show a lack of urgency in defending the faith, 'You want to be sure that everybody has a chance at happiness. That’s a very persuasive argument,' George said.

Cardinal George also said the homosexual marriage bill’s introduction has some 'inevitability to it now.'

If Cardinal George and all the Illinois Bishops declare that any politician who claims to be Catholic, including Gov. Quinn, votes for a homosexual marriage bill would be automatically and publicly excommunicated, this would stand a very good chance of protecting marriage. If the bill still passed, excommunicating these heretical politicians who be a public sign to our Lord and Savior that there are still people who are not cowards in the face of the culture of death." 1

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2013-JAN-02: SSM bill House Bill 5655 was to be introduced into the Senate:

Lt. Governor Shelia Simon (D) urged Illinoisians to contact their legislators, asking that they vote in favor of the new SSM bill: HB5170 "Religious Freedom-Marriage Act. 2 The full name of the bill is: "Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act."

State Sen. Heather Steans, (D-Chicago) intended to introduce the bill to the Senate on 2013-JAN-02. She also organized a lobby day in Springfield IL for JAN-03, and asked supporters to wear bow ties to indicate their approval of SSM. She said:

"Marriage equality is gaining widespread support in Illinois and is gaining momentum nationwide because more people recognize the importance the institution plays in protecting and recognizing families. ... Passing a marriage equality bill in Illinois is the right thing to do and we should do it now." 3

She is supported by State Reps. Deborah Mell (D) and Kelly Cassidy (D), both from Chicago. Also in support is Jesse Tyler Ferguson, an actor from the "Modern Family" TV series.

On Wednesday, 2013-JAN-02, a Senate vote was taken to waive the normal six-day waiting period and to have the Religious Freedom and Marriage Protection Act voted upon quickly by the full Senate. It failed by a vote of 28 to 24 due to the absence of some supporters of the Act. It is expected to pass the Senate later by a comfortable margin; Its subsequent passage in the House is less certain.

Steans planned to present the bill to the Senate committee on JAN-03 morning, and to the Senate floor later that day.

State Sen. Dale Righter, (R) asked that the bill be slowed down in order to help voters to more easily follow the process. He said:

"... it is very difficult even in this electronic age for the public to follow all the moves."

Steans responded:

"There've been bills out here for probably four or five years on this topic. I think there's been lots of discussion on it, so I understand his point, but I really do think this bill has been out there for a very long time, generating lots of public discourse, lots of people thinking about it, and we'll continue to do that in committee tomorrow." 3

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2013-JAN-03: Pat Brady, State Republican Party Chairman, Pat Brady, supports SSM bill:

State Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady supports the bill, in opposition to both the state and national Republican Party platforms. He said:

"More and more Americans understand that if two people want to make a lifelong commitment to each other, government should not stand in their way.

Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens families and reinforces a key Republican value - that the law should treat all citizens equally. 4

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) quickly responded by emailing a message to everyone on their mailing list, saying that Illinois Democrats have deferred plans to vote on the SSM bill until the week of JAN-06. The email continued:

"Republican activists and pro-family voters from every corner of Illinois are outraged and calling on Pat Brady to resign as leader of the party.

Marriage and family are central, not just to the Republican Party platform, but to the votes and values of Republicans across the nation. NOM joins with voices from across the state in demanding that Pat Brady step down or be removed as leader of the party.

We are calling on all GOP donors to immediately stop funding to the Illinois GOP, and to let the party know that you will be withholding any future donations as long as Pat Brady is head of the party.

Instead, I would urge you to take those dollars that you would normally give to the Republican Party, and give them to NOM, or to one of the wonderful pro-family groups in Illinois fighting to defend marriage.

In addition to calling on Pat Brady to resign, NOM today pledged to form a brand new PAC, funded with $250,000 to defeat any Republican lawmakers [in the next election] who votes for same-sex marriage. Any Republican in Illinois who betrays the cause of marriage will be casting a career-ending vote and will be held accountable to their constituents." 5

The phrase "cause of marriage" apparently means to continue to have marriage a special privilege restricted only to opposite-sex couples.

NOM also issued a press release on JAN-03, stating:

"The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today pledged to form an Illinois state PAC and spend $250,000 defeating Republican legislators who vote in support of same-sex 'marriage' in Illinois, just like the group successfully did in New York. The group also called on state Republican Chairman Pat Brady to resign or be removed from office for violating the national GOP platform and urging state Republicans to redefine marriage."

" 'Any Republican in Illinois who betrays the cause of marriage will be casting a career-ending vote and will be held accountable to their constituents,' said Brian Brown, NOM's president. 'We will spend whatever it takes — hundreds of thousands of dollars if necessary — to remove them from office, just as we did three of the four turncoat Republican state Senators in New York who were responsible for gay 'marriage' passing there. We will not hesitate to support pro-family Democrats to replace them, as our record in New York proves'. ..."

"NOM also demanded that state GOP Chairman Pat Brady resign his position, or be removed by Republican delegates as Brady called on GOP legislators to redefine marriage. Brady's position violates the strong pro-marriage plank of the Republican National Committee Platform, and is contrary to the position of every major GOP candidate for president in 2012."

" 'Pat Brady is unfit to continue as Chair of the state Republican Party and should immediately resign or be removed from office,' Brown said. 'We urge all donors to cease supporting the Republican Party in Illinois until Brady is removed from his position. His betrayal of Republican principles is unforgiveable and violates the trust of Illinois Republicans. Moreover, it will directly lead to the defeat of any GOP officeholder who follows his lead, as the experience in New York showed'." 8

Reactions among Republicans in Illinois to Brady's statement was fiercely negative:

  • Committee member Bobbie Peterson said:

    "Pat Brady is a total disgrace. He’s a pretty face for TV. He can speak well. Period. But what’s coming out of his mouth is not what the Illinois Republican party is about."

  • State Sen. Jim Oberweis asked for Brady’s resignation. He said that he:

    "... did not expect that and didn’t know why he would have done that."

  • Committee member Gene Dawson also called for Brady’s resignation. He said:

    "I can only express my disappointment in the way this has come about and the manner in which the Republican platform of Illinois has been completely disregarded." 6

Brady later acknowledged that he didn’t consult with committee members before making his statement. He said that he had spoken out as a private citizen. He called the same-sex marriage ban the state's:

"... last condoned discrimination. ... If people want to throw me out because I took a stand on an issue of discrimination [as] the chairman of the Republican Party, the party founded by Abraham Lincoln, then that’s up to them. They’re free to do it. But I’m not backing down." 6

Thus, it remains unclear whether Brady spoke as a private citizen or as head of the state Republican party, or as both.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), later issued a statement saying:

"Brady has betrayed us, betrayed his party, misrepresented ’key Republican values,’ and insulted conservative voters in Illinois and across America who deserve leaders who refuse to sell out on such a fundamental and crucial issue like the defense of marriage, children and family. ..."

"The future of marriage in Illinois demands that Brady be replaced immediately with a brave pro-marriage individual who will fight back against the out-of-state liberal activists now attempting to impose gay marriage on the Land of Lincoln without the will or consent of the we the people." 6

Again, the term "pro-marriage" when used by conservatives groups like NOM, means to oppose allowing loving committed same-sex couples to marry and who want to restrict marriage to opposite sex couples.

During the week of FEB-24, NOM announced that seven Illinois GOP committee members have called a meeting of the state Republican leadership to oust Chairperson Brady. 7

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. TruthInRockford's home page is at:
  2. Text of the Religious Freedom-Marriage Act is available at:
  3. "Illinois Senate Takes Up Same-Sex Marriage Bill," CBS St. Louis, 2013-JAN-02, at:
  4. "Gay Marriage Vote Hits Snag," Ward Room, 2013-JAN-03, at:
  5. Brian Brown, "BREAKING: Big win in Illinois!," National Organization for Marriage email, received 2013-JAN-03 at 4:55 PM ET.
  6. Jason St. Amand, "Ill. GOP Chair Reiterates Support for Same-Sex Marriage," Edge New York, 2013-JAN-11, at:
  7. Brian Brown, "Victory: GOP move to oust pro-gay marriage Pat Brady!," Mailing, 2013-JAN-03, by National Organization for Marriage.
  8. Brian Brown, "National Organization for Marriage Pledges To Defeat Any Republican Legislator in Illinois Who Votes For Gay 'Marriage'," National Organization for Marriage, 2012-JAN-03, at:

Copyright © 2012 & 2013by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Posted: 2013-JAN-03
Latest update: 2013-MAR-03
Author: B.A. Robinson
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