Lobbying efforts are intensifying with a vote on legalizing same sex marriage looming next month at the Illinois Capitol. The rhetoric is coming from both sides of the issue.
Chicago House Democrat Greg Harris says it's about fairness. He pushed through the state's law allowing civil unions two years ago. He says with successes in other states, the time is right to approve gay marriage in Illinois. Harris says lawmakers will be hearing from many of their constituents who favor same sex marriage.
"People across Illinois who are supportive of fairness and equality, who believe we should strengthen our communities, recognize families and create a more stable environment in our neighborhoods, they are reaching out to their legislators too," Harris said.
The Catholic Conference of Illinois is among those opposed to the proposed change. It's the public policy arm of the Catholic Church. Director Robert Gilligan says parishioners are being made aware of the Church's position and encouraged to speak with lawmakers.
"We released what's known as a marriage toolkit that was sent to all the parishes. It includes some talking points and there's a question and answer sheet in there for people who have questions about this issue and how to respond to it appropriately," Gilligan said.
Gilligan says his argument is that same sex marriage goes against nature. However, he admits polls show the public is becoming more open to the idea of legalizing it.