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David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute, a state affiliate of the American Family Association, sent out a fundraising appeal today warning that if anti-gay activists fail to stop marriage equality legislation in Illinois, “America will collapse” like Sodom and Gomorrah.

Smith compared his own fight against the “evil agenda” of gay rights to that of American soldiers in World War II: “We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen.  If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit.”

As a father of six children, I often wonder what Illinois will be like in twenty years.  What will it be like for your children and grandchildren?

We cannot know for sure.  We can’t predict the future.  Only God knows for certain.

I do know, however, that things are sure to be worse, much worse for our children, if we don’t do something now to stop the moral collapse, which will be hastened if our lawmakers undermine marriage by legalizing same-sex “marriage.”

I am doing everything in my power to prevent that from happening.  I’ve put tens of thousands of miles on my car and logged weeks away from my family to fight this evil agenda in 2013, and I need your help today.

I’m not alone in making sacrifices.  Many courageous people are stepping up and doing their part, including the staff and a dozen or so dedicated volunteers at IFI.  I need you to do your part today.

The Chicago Sun Times admitted this week that Leftists are still “shy” of the votes they need to pass homosexual “marriage.”  And that is because you have refused to stay silent.  Now we must finish what we started earlier this year.  We must show up in Springfield again.  The politicians need to know how strongly you feel about this attack on common sense, reason, and decency.  They have to understand that marriage redefinition isn’t as popular as some politicians and media pundits want you to believe it is.

And our politicians need to know that we aren’t going to allow them to ignore the best interests and rights of children and individual religious liberties without a fight.  I can do no less for my children.  It is my duty.  It is our duty.

A friend told me about a group of WWII veterans from Iowa that drove all the way to Washington D.C. this week. They risked arrest by passing through the barricades set up by the president to keep veterans from viewing their monuments. We should be inspired to defend marriage with the same courage, conviction, tenacity, and sacrifice that the greatest generation fought to defend American principles and to honor their fallen.  If we don’t stop the enemy from achieving his goal of destroying the family, there won’t be any monuments to visit.  America will collapse.  It is only a matter of time.  Read Genesis 19.

H/T: Miranda Blue at Right Wing Watch

The Illinois Family Institute’s David E. Smith and Andrew Willis have used their incredible wisdom and logic to poke a hole in the idea that gay and lesbian couples in Illinois really want to get married.

Here’s how their argument goes: According to the census, very few gay and lesbian couples in Illinois got “civil unionized” in 2012. Therefore, why would they fight so hard for marriage equality?!

In Illinois, only 0.45 percent of the homosexual population received a civil union in the first full year of availability, and only a fraction of a percent (0.0166 percent) of Illinois’ population got “civil unionized” in 2012. This is the response to all the enthusiasm and celebration that surrounded the passage of Illinois’ civil unions law?

The response to civil unions has been lackluster at best, and one should not expect these percentages to rise dramatically. The law came into effect June of 2011, so one would expect that homosexuals who had been committed to a partner would have formed a civil union by now, but the vast majority have not.

… Why the sudden political urgency for a same-sex “marriage” law in Illinois — when there seems to be so very little interest in forming civil unions? And there is absolutely zero evidence that same-sex “marriage” would be more popular in the long run than civil unions has proven to be in Illinois.

The short answers are these: Separate but equal is not equal. And for many gay and lesbian couples, they’re not settling for a watered-down version of marriage. They want to be treated the same as straight couples in the eyes of the government and that’s not going to happen until full marriage equality is achieved.

But back to the numbers. I’m trying to make sense of IFI’s statistics, but when they distort them this badly, it’s hard.

In any case, IFI claims what gay rights supporters really want is not equality, but power. Power and the destruction of society:

The ultimate goal is the eradication of conservative moral beliefs and the creation of a social and legal climate that promotes homosexuality as normal behavior. Redefining marriage in order to accommodate the unjustifiable demands of a tiny but politically powerful group will ultimately prove too costly.

There’s paranoid bigotry at its finest.

h/t: The Friendly Atheist blog at Patheos

In many of the states that have waged marriage equality fights recently, opponents have often coalesced around a coalition consisting of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the state’s Catholic conference, and the state’s “family policy council” affiliate of the Family Research Council. In Illinois, however, these typical players have not united in the same way, seemingly in part because the state social conservative group is the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), a hate group in its own right associated with the American Family Association.

IFI’s rhetoric is quite a bit more brazen than what anti-gay groups have used in other states, which may have scared away its would-be allies. 

Today marks three months since the Illinois Senate passed the marriage equality bill, and with only three weeks left for the House to pass it, here’s a look at some of IFI’s rhetoric that is dominating the opposition:

  • Today, IFI posted numerous photos from its rally this weekend, including a sign that reads, “The crime against nature will never be equal.”
  • Speakers at the rally included ex-gay advocate Linda Jernigan and another hate group leader, Peter LaBarbera, who told the crowd that homosexuality is “unnatural and wrong,” citing HIV rates among men who have sex with men as evidence of “the dangers of homosexuality.”
  • In February, IFI’s Laurie Higgins wrote that gay people shouldn’t even be allowed to teach because they’ll put pictures of their partners on their desk that students will see.
  • In fact, IFI believes that parents should pull their children from any classroom that attempts to create a safe environment for LGBT students.
  • IFI has claimed gays and lesbians already have equality because they can marry the opposite sex like everyone else; same-sex marriage is thus a demand “to be treated specially.”

This extreme rhetoric extends beyond the talking points conservatives have traditionally used in these fights, which tend to focus on supposed protections for children, gender norms, and the institution of marriage. By openly condemning homosexuality as unnatural and curable through therapy — as well as enabling the bullying of LGBT youth — IFI sets itself apart.

H/T: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

(via Illinois Family Institute president says gay marriage is ‘blatantly blasphemous to nature’ - Good As You:: Gay and Lesbian Activism With a Sense of Humor)

Just hours before supporters of “traditional marriage” will deny animus before the legislature, the head of the state’s “pro-family” lobby group IFI is doing all he can to prove otherwise.

He’s out of touch.