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Article updated: 11/6/2013 10:12 AM

Lake Co. library leader assails gay marriage

By Russell Lissau

The leader of a Lake County library district board on Tuesday assailed plans to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.

"Polygamy will be next," Bonnie Quirke, the president of the Libertyville-based Cook Memorial Public Library District board, told the Daily Herald. "Is that really what we want? Is that really what they want?"

Quirke's comments came during an interview prompted by posts she'd made on Facebook. In the interview, Quirke said she opposes the effort because it redefines the word "marriage."

"The whole purpose of marriage is reproduction," Quirke said. "Two people of the same sex can't reproduce."

When asked about other forms of parenting available to same-sex couples, such as adoption and surrogacy, Quirke remained resolute.

"Is that really in the best interest of children, to be raised by two men or two women?" she said.

Quirke also insisted gay men don't maintain monogamous relationships.

"There may be a couple exceptions, but they're not (monogamous)," she said.

Mitchell Locin, a spokesman for the gay-rights group Equality Illinois, called Quirke "out of touch" with the people of Illinois.

The General Assembly approved legislation that would allow gay marriage Tuesday.

The plan now heads to Gov. Pat Quinn.

Quirke, of Libertyville, has served on the library board since 2005 and has been its president since 2010. She's also a leader in the anti-abortion movement in Lake County and Illinois.

Quirke said her views on homosexuality haven't affected her ability to serve the library district. She's never tried to keep books on the subject out of the collection, she said.

"I think I've been a very good, strong advocate for the library," she said.

Cook Memorial Public Library District Director Stephen Kershner said he doesn't share Quirke's opinions but defended her right to express them. He isn't concerned her views on gay rights are shaping library policy.

"There are seven elected board members, and policies are made by the majority of the board, not by an individual board member," Kershner said.

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