Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George officially entered the political debate over same-sex marriage on Tuesday, issuing a pastoral letter that urges parishioners to contact state legislators and voice their opposition to a planned bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.
“Civil laws that establish ‘same sex marriage’ create a legal fiction,” George wrote in a letter sent to priests today, reported the Chicago Tribune.
“The State has no power to create something that nature itself tells us is impossible,” he wrote.
George and other Roman Catholic bishops have taken a new approach is the marriage debate, saying that same-sex marriage “violates natural law.”
“Marriage comes to us from nature,” said George, who said the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage is not about doctrine or faith, but “a matter of reason and understanding the way nature operates.”
Chief sponsors of the bill, Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) said they are close to securing enough support to bring the marriage bill up for vote, and that if they are confident it will pass the current General Assembly, they will introduce it in the lame duck session that begins Wednesday.
Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat who supports marriage equality, said he’d like to see the bill reach his desk in early January.