House Bill 5170 will very likely go to the Illinois House for a vote before Tuesday, and if it does, it will pass and receive Governor Quinn's signature a few hours later:
The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act is amended by changing Sections 201, 209, and 212 and by adding Section 220 as follows:
(750 ILCS 5/201) (from Ch. 40, par. 201)
Sec. 201. Formalities.) A marriage between 2 persons
a man and a woman licensed, solemnized and registered as provided in
this Act is valid in this State.
The Illinois Senate may vote on it tomorrow. That fact explains why Francis Cardinal George wrote a letter to his rapidly-dwindling flock yesterday saying, "Civil laws that establish 'same sex marriage' create a legal fiction. The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible."
I understand that the Cardinal is not a lawyer, but in this country, and in this state, marriage is defined by law first. I should also draw the Cardinal's attention to the second purpose of HB5170:
(a-5) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require any religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, or any officiant acting as a representative of a religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group, to solemnize any marriage. Instead, any religious denomination, Indian Nation or Tribe or Native Group is free to choose which marriages it will solemnize.
In other words, Cardinal, we're bound by the First Amendment to get our laws out of your church. Now please get your religion out of our legislature.