Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI) has denied the existence of married gay and lesbian couples.

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 a recent article titled Marriage Is Not A Civil Right, Higgins, the Christian conservative group's cultural analyst, argues that “there exists no such thing as 'same-sex' marriage.”

“Although marriage licenses are being issued by some state governments to homosexual couples, there are in reality no homosexual marriages – never were, are not now, never will be.”

“Marriage,” Higgins explains, “is an institution ordained by God in Genesis ...”

“All societies throughout recorded history have publicly recognized the institution of marriage as a sexually complementary public institution. The government's obligation is merely to recognize legally what marriage actually is. The government has no business creating an entirely new – and destructive – institution and then attaching to it the name of marriage.”

Higgins goes on to explain that marriage is not a civil right.

“Our civil rights are very specific rights that are accorded to individuals because of their status as humans. These rights are based on universal characteristics, not on feelings, desires, 'orientations,' or volitional conduct.”

Illinois lawmakers are expected to debate the issue next month.