A group of conservative organizations have banded together to kill an effort to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.

A push for a vote on a marriage bill introduced in February is expected next month during the General Assembly's lame-duck session.

Chief sponsors of the bill last week signaled that they have sufficient support to get the bill to Governor Pat Quinn's desk. Quinn has said he looks forward to signing the bill into law.

The Coalition to Protect Children and Marriage includes a who's who of Illinois social conservative groups, including the Eagle Forum of Illinois, Catholic Citizens of Illinois, the Thomas More Law Center, the Illinois Family-Institute and the Family-Pac.

“Government did not create marriage,” David Smith, director of the Illinois Family-Institute, said in a statement. “It merely recognizes and promotes this type of relationship that exists and which protects the rights and serves the best interests of children and, therefore, of society. Research has consistently demonstrated that children fare best when raised, whenever possible, by their biological parents. The state has a vested interest in promoting this institution because it provides the ideal environment in which to raise the next generation of healthy and productive members of society.”

“Only a marriage of heterosexual persons can produce children and secure the future of society,” Penny Pullen, president of the Eagle Forum of Illinois, added. “The protection of the lives and development of children must take priority over the personal gratification of even one single adult. The definition of natural marriage must be between one man and one woman, unchanged by whims and claims of equality.”