Illinois Catholic Conference Promotes Anti-Gay Discrimination

Discrimination will not define Religious Freedom

Recently the Illinois Catholic Conference’s Public policy arm of the Church in Illinois created a new initiative to defend against attacks on marriage. Gay Catholics believe this might be a precursor to put an anti-Gay Marriage Amendment on the ballot.

The Statement is seen as threatening posture by the Conference in response to the its latest defeats in the Courts concerning the rights of Catholic Charities to discriminate against gay couples seeking adoption.

While Arizona, California, and Main have passed such referendums; there is a real possibility that Minnesota which currently has such referendum will not. Local polls are indicating the referendum will not gather enough votes to pass. One of the key players is the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

The Illinois Catholic Conference is trying to make the cultural fault line in this dispute between Social Justice and Religious Freedom. It wants to maintain a privileged status when it comes to the law.

The Conference believes the State of Illinois should put its stamp of approval on discrimination against gay people which is currently in opposition to state law. In their view this would be done in the name of Religious Freedom.  The law is not at war with Religious Freedom rather it is a deeper understanding of the roots of the free exercise and non establishment protections of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

The Rainbow Sash Movement challenges the Illinois Catholic Conference not to taint our State Constitution with the corrosive nature of religious fundamentalism. Rather than promoting the idea that Gay and Lesbian Couples should be treated as second class citizens by promoting the idea that there should be a public connection between government and religion it should be celebrating the fact that religious freedom is alive and well in Illinois.

Jack Pell
Rainbow Sash Movement

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