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
“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.