Chicago Cardinal Francis George does
not believe gay marriage is possible because it violates the laws of
Illinois lawmakers, who legalized civil
unions for gay couples 2 years ago, are expected to take up the issue
when they reconvene for a lame-duck session. Each chamber will meet
for 3 days, with the Senate's meeting starting on Wednesday, January
2. State Senator Heather Steans and state Rep. Greg Harris,
Democrats from Chicago, have said they will only press ahead with a
vote if they believe the marriage bill will clear the current General
Assembly. New members will be sworn in on January 9.
George, the head of the Catholic
Conference of Illinois and the Archbishop of Chicago, called on Roman
Catholics to oppose passage of the legislation in a letter sent to
priests, the Chicago
“Civil laws that establish 'same sex
marriage' create a legal fiction,” George wrote. “The State has
no power to create something that nature itself tells us is
George added that parishioners should
not alienate gay family members over the issue.
“Good pastoral practice encourages
families to accept all their children and not break relationships
with them,” he said.
Priests may opt out of publishing the
letter in their parish bulletins.
George apologized last January for
comments he made comparing
gay rights activists to the Ku Klux Klan.