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Religious Tolerance logo

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

Catholic church cuts funding. Public opinion poll.

Rallies for and against marriage equality.
House vote initially stalled in the Legislature.
NOV-05: The bill is passed by the House.

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This topic is continued from a previous essay.

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2013-OCT-18: Catholic Charities cut almost $300,000 funding from groups because of support for same-sex marriage:

Earlier in 2013, the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights endorsed same-sex marriage. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development, an anti-poverty program associated with the Roman Catholic Church, demanded that 11 groups who are members of the Coalition either leave the Coalition or lose their Catholic funding. Nine groups, who worked in such areas as domestic violence, affordable housing, and immigration rights ended up losing their funding. Some began cutting back on their projects in late October.

Jenny Arwade, executive director of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, had to reduce the size of an after-school program that taught bicycle mechanics to neighborhood teens. She said:

"We don’t have a formal stance on marriage equality. Our organizational values are that we believe in equal rights for all people. We were disappointed in the decision. We also believe it’s the church’s decision to do what they want to do."

Several charitable foundations have started an emergency fund to replace the loss in Catholic funding. 1

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2013-OCT-21: Poll by Fako & Associates shows majority support for SSM:

Equality Illinois, the main state group promoting marriage equality, released a poll taken by a national public opinion research firm, Fako & Associates of Lisle, IL. 2

Results were:

  • 52% support passing the same-sex marriage law; 40% are opposed; 8% have no opinion or refused to answer. This is a margin of 12 percentage points in support of SSM.

  • 54% support, 39% oppose, and 7% have no opinion after they were reminded that same-sex couples are currently denied access to over 1,100 federal rights and protections since they cannot marry in Illinois. This was the result of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in late June which overturned a major part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). These results show a margin of 15 percentage points in favor of marriage equality.

  • The results changed very slightly to 53% in favor, 41% opposed and 6% with no opinion when the pollsters read a statement about who supported the bill [including President Obama and Senator Mark Kirk (R)], as well as who opposed the bill [including Cardinal Francis George of Chicago and Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield.]

Some fascinating results were found when the polling data was further analyzed:

  • Among Roman Catholics, support was 61% in favor, 32% opposed and 7% with no opinion. Support increased to 63% and opposition dropped to 31% when those polled were read the statement that included the bishops' opposition.

  • Among Hispanics, support was 63% in favor, 29% opposed and 8% with no opinion. Support increased to 70% when those polled were reminded about the DOMA decision.

  • 55% of African Americans supported equality while 36% were opposed. This is the first poll where African American voters were more supportive of marriage equality than the general population.

  • Women supported the SSM bill by 57% to 36%.

  • 63% of those under age 50 back the law; 78% of those under age 35 back it.

The poll involved 600 voters. The margin of error is ±3.9 percentage points.

Bernard Cherkasov, the CEO of Equality Illinois said:

"With Illinois same-sex couples suffering because they cannot access federal benefits available to married couples, the time is now in the fall legislative session for the House to complete its unfinished business on the marriage bill."

"With these poll results, there is certainly no political reason why representatives shouldn't pass it in overwhelming numbers. There are simply no excuses left. We expect every House member who has expressed support publicly or privately for marriage equality or who has been leaning in favor of it to vote 'aye'."

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2013-OCT-22 & 23: Rallies held. Bill to legalize SSM appears to be still stalled:

On OCT-22, about 3,000 people attended a rally on the Capitol grounds in support of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, which would legalize SSM if passed and signed into law. 3

On OCT-23, about 2,500 people attended the "Defend Marriage Lobby Day" rally in opposition to marriage equality. The Illinois Family Institute coordinated the rally. Its director, David Smith, said:

"We are here today to send a clear message to our state lawmakers that marriage should not be redefined and undermined, but should rather be promoted and protected." 4

The Chicago Tribune reports that:

"... there's little indication the Illinois House is any closer to approving a gay marriage bill than it was before a summer of lobbying efforts. Lawmakers are waiting to see whether they face difficult re-election efforts. ..." 3

Rep. Greg Harris. the bill's sponsor, said:

"People can have their opinions on tactics and strategies all they want, but at the end of the day the issue here is about moving Illinois into the column of states that treats all of its families with equal dignity, strengthens our communities and puts us on the road promised by our forefathers to form a more perfect union."

A group of demonstrators had planned to enter a downtown Catholic church to pray for marriage equality. Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki issued a statement saying that they would not be allowed to pray there, because he viewed it as blasphemy. 3

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2013-NOV-05: The House passed the bill:

The House passed the bill by a vote of 61 in favor, 54 opposed and 2 abstentions. All but three Republicans voted against the bill.

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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. Manya Brachear Pashman, "Groups lose nearly $300,000 from Catholic charity over gay marriage issue," Chicago Tribune, 2013-OCT-18, at:
  2. Wi G, "Poll finds majority support for marriage equality in Illinois," Wisconsin Gazette, 2013-OCT-21, at:
  3. Monique Garcia, "Illinois gay marriage vote unlikely," Chicago Tribune, 2013-OCT-23, at:
  4. Lisa Maria Garza, "Gay marriage foes rally in Illinois a day after supporters," Reuters, 2013-OCT-23, at:
  5. "Illinois House, Senate Pass Same-Sex Marriage Bill," CBS - Chicago, 2013-NOV-05, at:
  6. "Illinois lawmakers vote to allow gay marriages," Associated Press, 2013-NOV-05, at:
  7. "Gay marriage to become legal in Illinois in June after bill passes House, Senate," ABC - Chicago, 2013-NOV-06, at:
  8. "Illinois Gay Marriage Bill Passes As State Poised To Become 15th To Legalize Same Sex Marriage," Huffington Post, 2013-NOV-05, at:

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Home > Homosexuality > Same-sex marriage > SSM Menu > Illinois > here

Home > Same-sex marriage> SSM Menu > Illinois > here

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Copyright © 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initially posted: 2013-OCT-29
Latest update: 2013-NOV-08
Author: B.A. Robinson
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