Illinois gay marriage bill could move to House

February 11, 2013 5:21:48 AM PST
It's shaping up to be a big week ahead for those who support the push for same-sex marriage in Illinois.

While supporters wait for a vote in Springfield, they turned their focus to what they call an anti-gay message coming from religious leaders in Chicago.

They braved the cold rain outside of Holy Name Cathedral Sunday morning with signs and flags.

The group believes they are close to getting same-sex marriage legalized in Illinois and know Francis Cardinal George has spoken out against it, and they want to highlight what they call his anti-gay criticisms.

"If you're going to deny us legal equality then we're going to call you what you are and that is frankly promoting bigotry and that's what this cardinal has done," said Andy Thayer, Gay Liberation Network.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn praised senators who moved the same-sex bill out of committee and says it's time to pass it so the state can achieve "full equality." If approved, Illinois would become the 10th state in the nation to do so.

But last month the cardinal urged parishioners to call their state legislators and voice opposition to the legislation. He maintains his focus is on what he calls core church beliefs and wants others to do the same.

"There is a lot of love, authentic love, that doesn't express itself in marriage, we all know people who are truly loving people and they are of different sexual persuasions, but here what at issue is changing the nature of marriage, this is a natural right," he said.

Nick Costello stood outside the church too. He came to show his support for the cardinal.

"Everyone has the freedom to love who they want but marriage requires sexual compatibility and marriage is for the good of society this isn't about who loves who this is a debate about what marriage means," Costello said.

The bill's sponsors expect a senate floor vote on Valentine's Day.