Well past 11:00 PM ET Tuesday night, the Executive Committee of the Illinois House held a hearing on a same-sex marriage bill, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. The bill passed by a very narrow margin, 6-5, with one lawmaker, Rep. Arroyo, stating he was voting to pass it through committee but likely would not vote for it in the full House.
That was politics and perhaps to be expected after the House was running more than six hours late — the bill was slated to be debated at 4:00 PM ET but didn’t begin until after 10:00 PM ET.
What was shocking was the opposition.
NOM, the National Organization For Marriage and the Illinois Family Institute, working under the so-called Coalition to Protect Children and Marriage, presented four witnesses to oppose the bill. No one else came to speak against it.
Image, left to right: Pastor Danny Holliday, Linda Jernigan, Kellie Fiedorek, Jennifer Roback Morse.
Roback Morse is a woman who has said, according to GLAAD, that “the parallels” between Nazi Germany and contemporary America “are really quite chilling” and what happened in Nazi Germany “is happening to us.”
She also relied heavily on a written statement which she read angrily, and based much of her testimony on the fraudulent Regnerus “study” that The New Civil Rights Movement has thoroughly debunked — and which a witness who supports marriage equality thoroughly debunked just minutes before Roback Morse spoke.
“Same-sex marriage redefines parenthood as a side-effect of redefining marriage,” Roback Morse claimed.
Astonishingly, Roback Morse falsely stated there were over a million people at an anti-gay marriage rally in France. News reports stated “hundreds of thousands,” not over a million.
The ADF attorney had little to offer. Then there were the incoherent rantings of Pastor Danny Holliday, who oddly claimed, “[w]hen states have redefined marriage parents have lost control of their children.” Holliday also tried to make his comments about the constitution but based his testimony on the Bible, and abortion, and who knows what else, which were all embarrassing, in my opinion.
But it was the testimony of ex-gay activist Linda Jernigan that brought the entire opposition down.
“Fifteen years ago I was a homosexual I am not a homosexual any more,” Jernigan stated, to the shock, no doubt, of much of the room.
Ex-gay “therapy” has been denounced as harmful by practically every major medical organization. Even “ex-gay” leaders have admitted reparative therapy does not work.
Jernigan also claimed that when she was “homosexual,” she did not experience any discrimination in a hospital setting, so therefore there’s no need for a marriage law.
After her testimony, David Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute tweeted:
Dr. Jennifer Morse is testifying against marriage redefinition.
— David E. Smith (@ProFamilyIL) February 27, 2013
I confess I couldn’t help myself:
— David Badash (@davidbadash) February 27, 2013
This is the best the opposition has to offer?
Are they trying to lose?
NOM’s supporters really should ask for their money back.
Nevertheless, complacency is not an option, and the vote in the Illinois House will be extremely close. We could easily lose if we don’t work hard.
You can watch the entire event here.
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