|Rev. Dennison and Toni Weaver present the case for marriage equality to a staffer for Rep. McSweeney.|
Note: Members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry and our allies from PFLAG have taken a lead in lobbying local legislators for Marriage Equality in Illinois. Yesterday Rev. Sean Parker Dennison and PFLAG’s Toni Weaver lead a second round of lobbying in mass visits. This time to local Republicans, including County GOP chair Rep.Mike Tryon and freshman Rep. David McSweeney, a certified Tea Partier. Neither will support the bill in the House but it is critical that they hear our voices. Word is that Illinois House Executive Committee has set the hearing on the marriage bill for next Tuesday, February 26. Below is the text of the statement read at the district offices by Rev. Sean.
We are here to urge you to take a stand for justice and equality by supporting equal marriage in Illinois. We are here because this issue is the defining civil rights issue of our time. Our country was founded on the ideal that all are created equal and all deserve “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” making the right thing to do very clear—allow our gay and lesbian friends, neighbors, sons, daughters, parents to marry the people they love.
Unitarian Universalists have supported marriage equality—along with full civil rights and protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people for nearly forty years. We long to live in a nation that lives up to the promise of equality and equal protection under the law for all people. We believe that equal marriage is a good first step to that goal.
Equal marriage is not a small thing. The ability to marry confers access to more than 1,000 legal benefits—including health care coverage, hospital visitation rights, family medical leave—benefits that are incredibly important. When these rights are denied, families suffer. And worse, we are complicit in that suffering. And that is unethical, unfair, and wrong.
Finally, we believe in equality and love, not division and fear. We know from our religious experience of worshipping and being together that what unites us as families and as people is much greater than what divides us. We need our leaders and our laws to stand on the side of love and equality if we are to live up to the great principles upon which our state and nation were founded.
Please, support marriage equality in Illinois. Stand on the right side of history. Again today, a study was published that found that it is not just us, but a majority of the people of Illinois, who believe that marriage equality is the right thing to do. We urge you to vote for its passage.
Rev. Sean Parker Dennison, Minister,
On behalf of the 171 members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry