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Cardinal: No Civil Unions

Cardinal: No Civil Unions

George

The leader of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Chicago is urging Illinois lawmakers to reject a bill establishing civil unions for gay couples, saying it would "change the nature of marriage."

Cardinal Francis George issued a statement Monday saying that "the public understanding of marriage will be negatively affected by passage of a bill that ignores the natural fact that sexual complementarity is at the core of marriage," the Chicago Sun-Times reports. He also said the legislation would require faith-based social service agencies to place foster children or adoptees with couples in civil unions.

State representative Greg Harris, a gay man who backs the legislation, said George is either "misinformed" or exaggerating the potential effects of the bill, which could come to a vote as early as next week. It does not change Illinois law's definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and it contains language saying it is not intended to "interfere with or regulate the religious practice of any religious body."

Lawmakers are likely to pass the bill, and recently reelected governor Pat Quinn has pledged to sign it. Read more here.

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