Illinois became the 15th state to approve same-sex marriage on Tuesday, but while debating on the House floor, Republican Dwight Kay vehemently opposed the bill, saying that proponents were neglecting the Bible.
“The other thing I didn’t hear today was the fact that this nation was built on the scriptures,” said Kay. “And then came the Constitution. Is that not right? I think it is. Our Constitution has always looked to the scriptures for its guidance and its columns and its foundations and its leanings, its underpinnings. And, yet, I’ve heard nothing today about the scriptures. The only thing I have heard is about human rights.”
“So I guess we have walked away, we have backed away from our heritage in this nation, which we seem to do quite regularly for the expediency of what we wish to do in the moment,” Kay continued. “And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s pride. That’s the belief you’re better than the very foundations of this nation which we find in the scriptures.”
“You shouldn’t deny your own experience or your own conviction,” Kay argued to fellow lawmakers. “My conviction happens to be that this is wrong, but my conviction is that scripture is right.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel issued a statement following the approval of same-sex marriage in the state, saying that the ruling was a long time coming for Illinois.
“Today is a critical moment in history for Illinois and for the entire LGBT movement,” said Emanuel in the statement. “Finally, gays and lesbians across our state are guaranteed the fundamental right to marry, and countless couples with children will be acknowledged for what they are under the law — families just like everyone else.”
President Obama also commented on the ruling coming out of his former home state, acknowledging that he and his wife Michelle are extremely happy to see this go through.
“As president, I have always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally under the law,” said President Obama. “Over time, I also came to believe that same-sex couples should be able to get married like anyone else. So tonight, Michelle and I are overjoyed for all the committed couples in Illinois whose love will now be as legal as ours – and for their friends and family who have long wanted nothing more than to see their loved ones treated fairly and equally under the law.”
Still, many fought against the same-sex marriage bill and, along with Rep. Kay, warned of the implications.
“Redefining marriage has far-reaching implications for our society,” said Republican Rep. Tom Morrison. “While some children in non-nuclear parent homes do OK, the risks increase for children when they’re raised apart from both biological parents.”
The bill will have no impact on religious institutions, contrary to what some opponents have believed to be true, so religious leaders will not be forced to perform same-sex marriages.