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home : opinions : opinions   April 30, 2016

3/27/2013 10:12:00 AM
Column: Love means saying 'no'

Tom Collins
NT Senior Reporter

It looks as if so-called “gay marriage” is coming to Illinois.
Senate Bill 10, which would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, passed the state Senate on Feb. 14 — Republican state Sen. Sue Rezin of Morris voted no, by the way — and now awaits a vote in the House.
No date for that vote has been publicly announced, but judging from one lawmaker’s appeal it would appear to be coming soon.
In a Monday press release, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) noted that while the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage, he urged supporters to press for passage of SB 10.
“It’s an important day, but with the (Supreme) Court’s ruling far from certain and still months away, we can’t afford to wait,” he said. “Right here in Illinois, the state House is on the verge of passing the Senate-approved legislation to bring marriage equality to our state.”
With Durbin and other Democratic leaders on board, the vote figures to draw heavy Democratic support with few partisan defections. In a House where the Democrats hold a 24-seat majority, that doesn’t bode well for opponents. Gov. Pat Quinn has previously pledged to sign whatever bill passes.
While passage now seems like a foregone conclusion, I make one last appeal to ambivalent lawmakers who, if not enamored of the concept, seem unable to come up with a reason to vote against it.
Enacting same-sex marriage will have sweeping repercussions we can only dimly foresee. Supporters would have us believe that same-sex couples will live happily ever after with no consequences for society.
Time and again I’ve heard people question what kind of societal impact same-sex marriage would have, as if believing the phenomenon simply will take place in a vacuum. The most common refrain: “How does this affect me?”
Well, a cautionary example of how it will play out crossed by desk a few weeks ago.
The Associated Press issued an addendum to its stylebook, a usage manual that we journalists rely upon to use the clearest language. After repeated inquiries about same-sex unions, AP issued the following statement:
“The AP has never had a Stylebook entry on the question of the usage of husband and wife,” said Mike Oreskes, AP senior managing editor for U.S. news. “All the previous conversation was in the absence of such a formal entry. This lays down clear and simple usage. After reviewing existing practice, we are formalizing ‘husband, wife’ as an entry.”
And the entry reads as follows:
husband, wife — Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested.
How does same-sex marriage affect me, you ask? The largest and most dominant news organization in America would have mainstream media adhere to this usage whether or not it jibes with our religious beliefs and those of our readers.
Our very language would be altered by the decision of a tiny group of legislators.
The pat response from the same-sex lobby is to say that the heterosexual view is “intolerant” and “hateful.” That is hurtful to us who have gay friends and family members. Our feelings about our loved ones’ lifestyles are often complex, but hate never factors into the equation — ever.
Love, in the spiritual sense of the term, sometimes means saying “No” to the people we love. Parents and teachers understand this and have no compunction about laying down rules that seem unfair, but which protect the dignity of the individual and of society as a whole.
Yet we as a people have grown queasy at the prospect of laying down some tough love. As the AP example illustrates, assenting to same-sex marriage poses impossible consequences for everyone, gay or straight, and demands action.
Contact your legislators and ask them to vote “No” on Senate Bill 10.
Ask them to do it out of love.

Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, March 31, 2013
Article comment by: MotherEarthSpeaks

The Power of the Pen is great.

The conservative nature of this privately held newspaper is dependent upon readership and sponsorship, yet there are many with additional views as controversial as this one, that do not have the "bully pulpit" of the local newspaper.

I, as a reader with conservative views at times, and progressive, at times, would like to see more balance in prominent print.

Alternative views are expressed only in the comment or Letter to the Editor sections, and perhaps Facebook. These expressions of opinion are not held equal to the traditional columnists. Why?

We have many good writers in the community who deserve the forum as well Seek them out..

To expand with the changing views of the populace, and to include other opinions equally, I suggest that a professionally written column be dedicated to "the alternative point of view."

Sharing new ideas and expressing newer choices of thought are the sign of a great growing media.

It is time to think and act "out of the box."

We pay for subscriptions as well, and deserve to be heard on equal footing.

Wisdom allows freedom of expression with no harm.

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: TomCollinsreporter

Since the column ran, I found this take on same-sex marriage interesting:

P.S. -- Mr. Wood does not know me -- nor I him -- and therefore he has no grounds for labeling me disingenuous.

Posted: Friday, March 29, 2013
Article comment by: ronwood61

I have been married to a great woman for 40 years and have 11 grandchildren but I also believe the science that shows homosexuality is genetic and not a "choice". Therefore to deny these people all the same legal rights I have is immoral and unamerican. Mr. Collins can call it whatever he wishes but to say NO to this is his moral distaste for homosexualty in disguise.

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