ALTON - In the face of a possible vote today on gay marriage in Illinois, two Alton legislators said they will introduce a bill to place a referendum on the ballot that would define marriage as only between a man and a woman.
The definition would be added to the Illinois Constitution if it receives 60 percent of the vote.
State Sen. William R. Haine and state Rep. Dan Beiser, both Alton Democrats, said in a joint news release they are proposing the bill and the referendum to defend traditional marriage and traditional family values.
"The family unit is the most important part of our community," Haine said. "Strong families make sure that their children are taught good manners and are given the tools they need to succeed. Our community understands and values the traditional family, and I will continue to defend the values we hold dear."
Beiser said voters deserve a chance to vote on such an important issue.
"There is a lot of discussion right now about changing the definition of marriage in Illinois, which would fundamentally alter communities across the state," Beiser said. "Such a big change should not be pushed on the people in Illinois unless they demonstrate that they want it. That is why I believe this issue must be brought before every voter. We must stand together and defend our values."
Each Alton legislator introduced bills in their respective chambers. Both the House and Senate must approve one or the other bill, and the governor must sign it.