Apparently the one thing both sides of this debate agree on is that the effort to change laws probably won’t stop with civil unions legislation, because such laws may stop short of full marriage rights. And gay activists are, indeed, after that goal.

Slippery slope? It sure is, says just about everyone involved.

That’s an argument gay-rights advocates are happy to concede.

“I’ve had someone stand up and say, ‘This is a slippery slope, and what you really want is equal marriage,’” said Rick Garcia, public policy director for Equality Illinois. “And I looked him right in the eye and said, ‘On this, we agree.’ We have never been shy about our support for equal marriage rights.”

With the passage last week of a civil unions bill that Gov. Pat Quinn has promised to sign into law, Illinois activists on each side of the marriage issue must now look ahead to whether civil unions will be good enough, or whether they bestow upon gay and lesbian couples a legally unacceptable “separate but equal” status.

As for Gov. Quinn signing it, Thomas Paprocki….formerly an adjunct professor of law at Loyola University’s School of Law in Chicago…addressed that as the new Bishop of the Springfield diocese.

After the Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation that would require the state to recognize same-sex unions, Governor Pat Quinn was quoted as saying, “My religious faith animates me to support this bill.” He did not say what religious faith that would be, but it certainly is not the Catholic faith. If the Governor wishes to pursue a secular agenda for political purposes, that is his prerogative for which he is accountable to the voters. But if he wishes to speak as a Catholic, then he is accountable to Catholic authority, and the Catholic Church does not support civil unions or other measures that are contrary to the natural moral law.

Quinn raised his religion as an animating force. Paprocki dutifully engaged the point for clarification.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....