Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, denies that support for gay marriage is increasing in Illinois.

In an op-ed published by the Chicago Tribune, Gilligan chided the paper for endorsing a marriage bill under consideration in the Illinois House.

With only 2 days left in the regular session, the House has yet to join the Senate in approving the legislation.

“If such support is 'barreling ahead,' why hasn't the House passed Senate Bill 10 by now, three-and-a-half months after Senate passage on Feb. 14? Because millions of Illinois residents oppose redefining an institution that underscores the foundation of our society, and have made that opposition known to their state representatives,” Gilligan wrote.

“Lawmakers two years ago approved civil unions, granting participants the same legal benefits given to married couples in the state. The editorial states civil union partners are missing out on federal benefits, legal protections and tax advantages because they aren’t married. These benefits are covered by federal law – not state law. The proper venue to get these benefits is not through an Illinois marriage license, but through legislation in the U.S. Congress.”

Gilligan goes on to call the bill flawed because its language does not explicitly “guarantee that no religious organization or institution be forced to provide their facilities or services for any type of marriage.”

The Catholic Conference of Illinois is among the marriage bill's most vociferous opponents.