Paul Caprio, executive director of the Illinois-based Family-PAC, on Wednesday cited the state's murder rate in opposing a proposed gay marriage bill.

The measure is currently being debated during the General Assembly's lame-duck session, which ends January 8.

Family-PAC is among the at least nine conservative organizations forming the Coalition to Protect Children and Marriage, the nascent coalition formed to lobby lawmakers against making Illinois the 10th state to legalize marriage equality.

Speaking with Sandy Rios, Caprio warned that the marriage bill would harm children.

“We think it's important that we block this in the state of Illinois,” Caprio said. “We know that there have been several referendums recently in other more progressive states, frankly more liberal states, where this has passed by narrow margins, but we feel that it's very important to stand up.”

“You know, it's interesting, when you stop to think about it what should the interest of the state be relative to the issue of marriage? The state, more than anyone, should be looking at marriage in terms of protection of children if for no other reason that if children are not protected, and children need foster care or they need DCF [Department for Children and Families] assistance, it costs the state so much more money. Just looking at it from the point of view from the state, not the point of view that we look at things from, including the moral perspective of this issue, but it's really interesting when you stop to think about it. Chicago, it was announced yesterday, is murder capital of the United States: 506 murders. We have the second highest unwed – or children out of wedlock birth rate, of any major city in the United States, right behind Detroit. All of these things are for reasons and one of the major reasons is the breakdown and the lack of a stable family for children,” he said.