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01/28/2013

IL Catholic Conference casts gays out of 'natural order'

by Jeremy Hooper

In the headline and at three points on the two-and-a-half pages that follow, the anti-equality Catholic organization opposes civil marriage rights for Illinois' same-sex couples by pushing gay people out of the "natural order" of life:

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 At 6.04.24 Pm
[FULL Document: ILCatholic.org]

This is the kind of rhetoric from which there is no turning back and for which there is no foreseeable apology. The Catholic Conferences and Bishops of just about any state where this civil marriage debate has gone before a legislature or voters have made the decision to go full-out, hardcore, exceedingly aggressive against not just the issue of civil marriage equality itself but also against the truth at the core of LGBT people's identities. It's gotten personal in a really ugly way—and that ugliness is not coming from the pro-equality side.

First and foremost, this tone is dangerous, disturbing, and damaging to vulnerable LGBT people (especially younger LGBT people). But don't kid yourselves, Catholic Conferences—it's extremely damaging to your goodwill reputations as well. It's quite sad to see the faithful leadership making these choices against an "opponent" that is, by and large, quite ready, willing, and able to render every single religious exemption/benefit that is afforded to the church by law (read: not the ones you have concocted to make yourselves the "victims" in this debate). The repercussion will surely be long-lasting.

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