Pro-family activists, legislators and organizational heads gathered at the Tinley Park Convention Center yesterday to hone their media skills in preparation for the marriage definition fight that will move from cold to hot as the state legislature heads toward the fall veto session and beyond.
Bruce Smith, Vice President of Media & Public Relations for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) led the training hosted by Illinois Family Institute - the organization leading the statewide pro-family movement.
From the seriousness and depth of the training, as well as the composition of the invite-only audience, it would seem the marriage defense side is prepping for a serious fight to convince legislators that Illinois should protect and strengthen the institution of marriage.
Concerned about freedom of conscience, one participant noted that politicians creating a new and special right of gay marriage in Illinois is being done by reducing or removing all Illinoisans fundamental and constitutional freedom of conscience. A freedom that even the U.N. upholds in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
When asked about recent GOP defections on the gay marriage issue, one Republican legislator remarked how the media ignores the fact that many Democrats are moving toward a marriage protection position, and that the Illinois legislature should not short-circuit the intense, public debate over how marriage should be defined throughout the state.
One participating attorney explained that gay marriage encourages even more motherless and fatherless homes, which has a serious fiscal impact in a state already struggling economically. He argued that marriage policy in Illinois should be fact-based, reasonable, and objective, but that the current debate is arbitrary, inconsistent, and has no legal or logical limits.
The overall message among all the participants and trainers was that the Illinois Legislature should protect and strengthen marriage, not undermine it.