IL Gay Marriage Vote Could Come Soon
SPRINGFIELD - Illinois Senate Democrats delayed a floor vote today on legislation to legalize gay marriage.
However legislation sponsor state Sen. Heather Steans expressed confidence there would be enough votes to pass it soon. Steans says two supportive Democrats and a Republican were missing from the General Assembly's lame-duck session. She says that forced her to pull back from pressing the issue.
But she says the delay would only push a vote into next week or, at the latest, soon after the new Legislature is sworn in Jan. 9.
Democrats hold a 35-24 majority in the Senate, but not every member is on board with extending marriage rights to same-sex couples.The plan would remove from state law a prohibition on marriage between two people of the same sex. It comes just 18 months after Illinois recognized civil unions.
Religious Groups Send Letters to Illinois Lawmakers On Gay Marriage
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Members of Illinois religious groups, from Catholic to
Muslim, have sent every state lawmaker a letter calling gay marriage
``dangerous'' to religious freedom.The letter is signed or supported by leaders of more than 1,700 churches,
congregations and faith groups. It was sent Wednesday as a state Senate
committee was preparing to consider same-sex marriage legislation.
Supporters of the bill say it would legalize civil marriages for gay couples
that religious organizations would not have to recognize.But the letter says religious freedom extends to houses of worship, and that a law would force faith groups to treat same-sex unions as the equivalent of
Catholic School Teacher Sues Archdiocese
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) An unmarried Catholic school teacher who said she was fired
after telling her principal that she was pregnant is suing the Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Kathleen Quinlan, who taught first grade at a Catholic school in Kettering in
suburban Dayton, said she was told to resign or be fired on the same day she
told the school's principal that she was expecting. She said she had offered to
take a behind-the-scenes job until she gave birth.
Quinlan, of Dayton, who later had twin girls, said in her lawsuit that she was
given three days to clear out her classroom.
A termination letter said she was fired for violating a section of her
employment contract that requires employees to ``comply with and act
consistently in accordance with the stated philosophy and teachings of the Roman
Catholic Church.''Her attorney said that as a non-ministerial employee, she should not have been
subject to a morality clause.
SC Men Charged with Stealing Church's Steel Beams
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) Two South Carolina are out on bond after being
arrested on charges of stealing steel beams worth more than $10,000 from a
church near West Columbia where similar thefts had occurred four times in the
The Lexington County Sheriff's Department says deputies arrested Raymond Wayne
Welch and Michael James Hall on one count each of grand larceny. Deputies say
the men were arrested Friday and released Saturday from jail after each posted a
Sheriff James Metts says the two were arrested after deputies saw them place
steel beams on a trailer they had parked outside the House of Praise. Steel
beams had been stolen from the church four times in the past and sold for
First Gay Anglican Bishop Reflects on Tenure in NH
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson says he
chafed for several years at being branded the first openly gay bishop in the
Anglican Communion until he realized he was wasting a pulpit from which he could
advocate for gay rights.
As he prepares to retire after nearly a decade as bishop, Robinson says the
church has come a long way from the uproar over his consecration to welcoming
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender congregants in church leadership. Mary
Glasspool, the first openly gay woman to serve as bishop, was elected to lead
the diocese of Los Angeles in 2009.
Robinson's civil union to his longtime male partner automatically became a
marriage when New Hampshire legalized gay marriage in 2010.
The 65-year-old Robinson will hand off to his successor in a ceremony at St.
Paul's Episcopal Church in Concord on Jan. 5.
Church of England Leader Leaves Office
LONDON (AP) The head of the Church of England is leaving office after a
decade as the spiritual leader of the world's 80 million-strong Anglican
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is being replaced on this last day of
the year by 56-year-old Justin Welby, a former oil executive who's been serving
as the bishop of Durham.
The ten years in which the 62-year-old Williams held office saw him struggling
to maintain unity within the Anglican Communion amid bitter disagreements over
female bishops and church teachings on gay relationships
Williams has been praised for engaging with church critics and atheists
including Richard Dawkins, but he has also raised eyebrows with his opinions on
controversial issues including the war in Iraq and Islamic law.
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