What Are Gay Rights Activists Giving Illinois Legislators to Support Gay Marriage?

Is gay marriage inevitable? To be more specific, is gay marriage going to pass in Illinois in the next two weeks? According to this article in the gay press, the answer to both questions is yes. However, I argued just two weeks ago that there is nothing inevitable about gay marriage in Illinois. So, what gives?

The gay lobby in Illinois has been bragging for months that they are going to redefine marriage. Why is the reliably Democratic legislature in the home state of Barack Obama and Rahm Emanuel having so much trouble getting marriage redefined? Very simple: the usually Democratic African American pastorate is adamantly opposed to enacting something so inimical to Biblical values.

When I was in Springfield testifying before a committee in February, I witnessed the lobbying being done by the advocates for redefining marriage. Individual legislators who had not committed one way or the other on the issue were marched one by one into Speaker Madigan's office. We can only guess what was being said in these meetings. But not too many votes changed. At least, not enough votes changed to make a difference.

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The "gay marriage is inevitable" mantra seems to mean one thing: rich people of both parties in America have decided that they want gay marriage. They expect that their money will buy them the influence they need to get it done.

But the sledding has been surprisingly tough for the "kids don't really need a Mom and a Dad crowd." The African-American pastorate traditionally loyal Democrats are not buying what the rich folk are selling. Check out this video of a press conference, where the pastors of many denominations express their opposition to redefining marriage. Beginning around seven minutes, Bishop Lance Davis of the New Zion Christian Fellowship decries the large amounts of money being thrown around to "undo the Bible and shove it down our throats."

These pastors are the constituents of the African American legislators whom the gay lobby is counting on to change their votes. These pastors will speak out against pro gay marriage politicians and will not allow them to speak in their churches.

This has been true for months. So what makes people like Rick Garcia, policy advisor for The Civil Rights Agenda, so confident that the bill has the 60 votes needed for passage in the House? "I believe we're there," said Garcia. "The cake is baked. We're waiting for the icing." What exactly has changed?

I think we can pretty well infer what has changed. Someone has finally found the right combination of inducements to get a few legislators to change their votes. Money? Campaign contributions? Positions on important committees? In Illinois-style politics, who knows what might be available to trade?

But the last legislators to come out at the final hour to dismantle the only institution we have that connects children with their parents are going to be very conspicuous. They will stand out as the ones who made gay marriage possible in Illinois. Their constituents, their neighbors, their fellow parishioners are entitled to ask them one very pointed question.

What did they give you, Judas?

Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D. is the President of the Ruth Institute.

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