Opponents of a proposed gay marriage bill in Illinois are working against its passage by claiming that being gay is a choice.

David Smith, the head of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) and “ex-gay” Linda Jernigan, who is working with the group to counter the measure, appeared on Total Living Network (TLN) to discuss their opposition. TLN is available on Chicago Cable and Sky Angel, as well as online.

The IFI is among the at least nine organizations forming the Coalition to Protect Children and Marriage, the nascent coalition formed to lobby lawmakers against making Illinois the 10th state to legalize gay marriage.

In the special report, Smith and Jernigan repeatedly state that being gay is a choice, and Jernigan adds that “millions” have altered their sexual orientations.

“The media will have you to believe there's no such thing as an ex-gay,” Jernigan said. “I know there are thousands of people, millions of people who have exited homosexuality. The thing about it is, because of the abuse and because of the shame and because of the embarrassment they do not yet have the courage to come out and say, 'Hey, I'm delivered. I'm an ex-gay.' But there are millions.”

Jernigan also stated that gay people abuse substances, engage in domestic abuse and attempt suicide because “there is no peace … the laws do not bring peace.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)