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Myth: Marriages between gays and lesbians have a negative effect on children.  FACT: Excluding same-sex couples from marriage harms children by denying them and their families the rights, protection, and sense of legitimacy that come with legal marriage. Studies consistently show that children of gay and lesbian couples are equally as well adjusted as those of opposite-sex couples. In fact, all major child welfare experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association, support the freedom of same-sex couples to marry because all families benefit from the protections and security that marriage brings. Millions of children are currently being raised by same-sex couples, and the only way to ensure that these children have the same rights, benefits, and protections as their neighbors and classmates is to allow their parents to marry. Myth: The legalization of marriage equality will force children to learn about same-sex couples in school. FACT: The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act does not compel any changes to school programs. Despite the same fear tactics used in every state with marriage equality, no state that has legalized marriage equality has had same-sex marriage formalized into the public school educational curriculum. Myth: Marriage is a historical institution that has remained unchanged.  FACT: Marriage has evolved throughout history to meet the needs of our society. At various points in the past it was common to have arranged marriages, for women to be thought of as inferior to their husbands, for the woman’s family to pay a dowry, and for first cousins to get married. Some Biblical heroes had multiple wives; others had children with their daughters. Until 1967, states defined marriage as a union limited to people of the same race. During the decades when the majority of Americans supported bans on interracial marriage, proponents of the ban called marriage between a man and woman of different races “unnatural, anti-religious,” and claimed that our society would be “eroded” if the definition of marriage was altered. Today, these arguments against interracial marriage seem dated and bigoted, but the same language is being used to attack equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Ending race discrimination and gender discrimination in marriage did not change the concept of marriage as the building block of stable relationships and strong families, and neither would allowing gay people to marry. This change would merely allow couples already committed to each other to take on the legal responsibilities of civil marriage. Myth:  The recent Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor granted equal rights to gay and lesbian couples by striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

 ACT: Striking down DOMA allows the federal government now to recognize marriages of same-sex F couples, but the Administration has stated explicitly that these benefits will not be available to couples in civil unions. Not only does Illinois offer only civil unions to same-sex couples, but even if the couples travel to other states to get married and come back to Illinois, access to many crucial federal benefits is conditioned on the marriage being valid in the state of the couple’s residence. Moreover, couples should not have to travel away from their homes, family, and friends in order to get married and gain access to these benefits.”



The Religious Case for the Freedom to Marry  
The Religious Case for the Freedom to Marry  

Prepared by Equality Illinois, the case for allowing faiths to decide which marriages should be consecrated. (Updated 9/13)