SPRINGFIELD -- State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, is drawing heat for telling a Catholic Conference of Illinois radio show last month that same-sex marriages are "disordered" and couples are trying to "weasel their way into acceptability."
"They're trying to weasel their way into acceptability so that they can then start to push their agenda down into the schools, because this gives them some sort of legitimacy," Ives said. "And we can't allow that to happen."
The comments have been criticized by proponents of gay marriage, but Ives says they've been misinterpreted.
She said today that her comments were specifically about opposing same-sex marriage, not making a statement about gay couples in general.
"It is unfortunate that people misinterpreted my remarks," Ives said.
"This is specifically about the institution of marriage," she added.
The freshman lawmaker's remarks come as Illinois House supporters are trying to push same-sex marriage onto Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. But they remain perhaps a dozen votes short.
Ives noted that her opinion appears to be the majority one in the Illinois House.
"Marriage cannot be legislated away or redefined," she said.
State Rep. Greg Harris, the Chicago Democrat sponsoring the same-sex marriage plan in the House, called the comments "unfortunate."
"I think those remarks were unfortunate. We should be supporting families and commitment, not disparaging them," Harris said.
Backers of gay rights also criticized Ives for another comment on the show.
"It's a completely disordered relationship and when you have a disordered relationship, you don't ever get order out of that," Ives said on the radio show.