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posted: 4/21/2013 5:00 AM

Why aren't people fearing for rights?

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Bishop George J. Rassas has written to state Rep. Ed Sullivan, who has decided to back same-sex marriage, urging him that the morality of the Bible and the Catholic Church should be made law in Illinois.

Just because in this case this singular religious "one man and one woman" definition of marriage does not exclude straight citizens from accessing this particular civil right, straight citizens of faiths which do not include this definition are still also forced by law under the Defense of Marriage Act to follow this rule of the Catholic Church and select other religions prerequisite to gaining access to civil marriage. Why should citizens be forced to follow the rules of one faith over another in order to access any civil right?

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And why here is excess religious weight placed on this one civil liberty as opposed to any other? We are not required to follow the singular rules of the Catholic Church or any other prerequisite to being able to vote, to speak freely, to collectively assemble or even to carry a gun. Why this infringement of our collective religious freedom only on the right to marry?

Why aren't straight citizens of other faiths also speaking out about this injustice? By precedent DOMA affects all citizens' possible future access to other civil rights as much as any gay person's current right to marry. Do straight citizens just not see this?

Civil marriage should be defined non-religiously for the state of Illinois as "between two persons." The freedom of religious institutions to not have to perform gay marriages should not by law trump the religious freedom of individuals, gay or straight, to be civilly married in the first place.

Religious freedom includes also the freedom from any particular religious belief.

John F. Page

Libertyville

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