Today the Senate Executive Committee approved SB10 which redefines marriage to include 2 individuals of the same sex. In response to this decision Illinois Family Institute executive director David Smith said:
"The state does not have the authority to redefine what culture and history has understood to be marriage as one man and one woman for thousands of years. The government merely recognizes and regulates it because it has a vested interest in the health, welfare, and inherent rights of children—the next generation. Proponents argue that the sole necessary feature of marriage is the presence of feelings of romantic love and that marriage has no inherent connection to sexual complementarity or reproductive potential. If that’s true, then there is no rational justification for prohibiting plural or incestuous same-sex unions."
The bill to redefine marriage provides inadequate safeguards for religious liberty. It leaves churches and religious organizations at the whim and mercy of the courts, who will have to interpret the marriage redefinition law and how it interacts with Illinois’ public accommodation and employment non-discrimination laws.
Simply put, this bill does not protect churches and religious organizations from having to rent their facilities to same-sex couples for wedding ceremonies, even when doing so violates the church’s religious beliefs. Nor does the bill protect churches and religious organizations from being forced to hire employees from same-sex marriages. The bill also provides no protection for individuals, like wedding photographers, who object to same-sex marriages but may be asked because of their business to participate in same-sex ceremonies.
This law does not protect religious freedom as it claims. Rather, it promotes religious intolerance, bigotry and discrimination.