Civil unions would provide legal recognition of gay couples and give them some of the same benefits automatically available to married couples — the right to visit a sick partner in the hospital and make decisions about their medical care, for instance. Backers consider it a matter of fundamental fairness, but critics argue it would amount to gay marriage under another name.
Supporters say they’re close to having the 60 votes needed to pass the measure, SB1716, in the House. If it passes there, backers think the Senate quickly would follow suit and Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn would sign it into law.
“I do think this is the time for Illinois to do this,” Quinn said Monday. “This is a good way to show employers — big businesses all across the country — that Illinois treats everyone with tolerance.”
Opponents are fighting to make sure the legislation fails.
One of those opposition groups are the Catholics.
We all know how interested they have been with ensuring civil rights for gay people. I say this as today comes word that Catholics are eager to help make sure there is no bigotry, and that all is fair for gay people.
The Catholic Conference of Illinois is apparently so concerned that the civil unions bill could pass the House today that it has issued a statement offering to compromise…
The statement reiterated that the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that homosexuals “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.”
“Accordingly, we stand ready to work with the legislature and other agencies of state government to prevent unjust discrimination and to provide benefits to people judged by the civic authority as deserving — as long as such provision does not include the attempted redefinition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman for the sake of family,” the statement said.