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When Illinois starts debating marriage and state's major 'pro-family' group gets involve...

by Jeremy Hooper

…let us all remember that this organization, the Illinois Family Institute, believes two key things that many who are involved in the fight will try to deny. The IFI's chief thinker, Laurie Higgins, lays it out in a new pamphlet called "Marriage is Not A Civil Right."

#1: The IFI does not stop at just marriage. Left to its own unchecked agenda, this organization would also go after adoption rights:

Screen Shot 2012-11-19 At 2.41.33 Pm

This one will be fun to bring up when they start running their "it's just about the word and meaning of marriage" ads.

#2: The IFI does not even pretend to honor any semblance of separation between civil license and optional religious ceremony. Laurie puts it this way:

Screen Shot 2012-11-19 At 2.42.03 Pm

This one will be fun to bring up when they deny religious animus. Because let's get real—that's what this is. We do, in fact, live in a world where (a) the civil marriage license is required of any couple who wants state/federal recognition, with the religious component always optional; and (b) millions of same-sex couples are now legally able to marry, with more to come in the next few years. Using your faith to deny this factual legal landscape is just bullying behavior.

There's no doubt that when this state does start its inevitable debate over whether it will bump up currently-legal civil unions system to full marriage status, groups like the National Organization For Marriage will once again push out voices like Lauries and once again pretend there whole fight is grounded in law and hyperfocused on this one specific area. To paraphrase Laurie Higgins: It won't be true—never was, is not now, never will be.

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