Protestors on both sides of gay marriage issue rally in Aurora
By Linda Girardi For the Beacon-News May 11, 2013 4:32PM
Anti gay marriage demonstrators line Montgomery Road at Waterford Drive on Saturday, May 11, 2013. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media ORG XMIT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: June 13, 2013 7:25PM
Protestors with wildly different views of legalizing same-sex marriage stood on opposite ends of a public parkway outside of state Rep. Stephanie Kifowit’s Aurora office Saturday, hoping to send a clear message.
“This is not about two people loving each other,” the Rev. Dan Haas said.
Gay rights activist Jim Lausier, of Montgomery, shouted in response, “It is about two people.”
While gay marriage legislation in Illinois has cleared a House committee, it has yet to reach the full House for a vote. Gov. Pat Quinn last week renewed his call for the state House to vote on the issue.
Kifowit did not attend Saturday’s protests. Over the phone, Kifowit said she was reserving making a public statement on how she would vote until she saw the results of an 84th District survey on the issue, and was assured no other amendments were attached to the measure.
“It would be disingenuous to come out and talk about it until I see the final bill and the implications,” Kifowit said.
Opponents of gay marriage held placards from the Illinois Family Institute that read marriage is between a man and a woman.
The pro-same-sex-marriage side waved gay pride flags and held signs that read, “Jesus didn’t reject anyone, neither do we.”
Motorists sounded their horns as they approached the group supportive of their views for the duration of the one-hour protests. Although the protests were peaceful, Aurora police did have a presence.
“Every child deserves a mom and dad,” said Haas, a former longtime Aurora pastor, who is now director of ministries at the Total Living Network. “If we are going to change the definition of marriage, then we can’t expect the same outcomes.”
“There is no reason to deny two people the same rights I have as a straight-married person,” Lausier said.
Haas said it was not “healthy” for children to be raised by same-sex couples. Haas said children could be raised never knowing their biological parents or having contact with them. He said a change in the law would allow schools to “normalize” homosexual behavior and lifestyle.
Chris Daniels, of Plainfield, came with her partner of 17 years, Audrey McDaniel.
“We raised my two young children from a prior marriage and they are healthy and productive adults,” Daniels said.
Haas said the pro-marriage equality side wants to reduce the issue to a single story that is working.
“I don’t doubt there are individual personal stories that are working, but I am concerned about the overwhelming statistics that say it is not working,” Haas said.
Rev. Kirk Moore, pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, said he came to present the opposing views of his Christian brothers and sisters.
“I would like to be able to sign a marriage certificate during wedding ceremonies. Now I can only sign a civil union certificate,” Moore said.
Randy Donka of Montgomery, an advocate for same-sex marriage rights, and Joe Wang of Naperville, who believes marriage should be between a man and a woman, were having a conversation midway between the protests.
Donka said he was divorced, while Wang said he was married. Both were about the same age in their early 50s and each had two boys.
“Even though we have differing views, doesn’t mean we can’t be friends,” Wang said.