On behalf of ourselves and the religious community we serve, the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Springfield, we wish to publicly add our voices in support of the legislation in favor of marriage equality that is to be considered by the Illinois General Assembly.
We are heartened that representatives from both parties recognize that this issue is one of equal civil rights for all citizens. While the legalization of civil unions did represent a step forward, the fact remains that same sex couples are consistently denied rights, services and courtesies that are automatically extended to their heterosexual counterparts.
As a religious community who welcomes people of all sexual orientations, we have learned from our members that this is not an abstract issue. Real people and real families here in central Illinois are impacted by this discrimination. Consider a situation where your loved one is hospitalized and you are refused access.
Some religious leaders argue that passage of marriage equality would force them to perform rites contrary to their doctrines. In truth, faith communities have been and will continue to be exempt when it comes to their rites and religious customs. The advances of women and minorities during the past few decades have not led to legislative demands that churches ordain people of color or women. Nor has the legislature ever presumed to regulate to whom churches may offer (or withhold) communion.
Phillip Anderson, president of the board of directors
Ms. Lynnda White, ministerial intern
Rev. Martin E. Woulfe, minister
Really liked the George Harrison issue (“They saw him standing here,” by William Furry, Jan. 31). Thanks for reminding us just how small this world really is.
I, Jesse Travis, am writing this message in regards to the outstanding reporting you put forth in your Illinois Times article (“No room at the inn,” by Bruce Rushton, Jan. 24) pertaining to the senseless and untimely death of my brother, Alonso Travis. The Travis family is and always will be extremely grateful; your work on this story stirred our hearts in unimaginable ways.
THE NARROW PATH
I want to thank the mayor and his engineering staff for creating another traffic hazard at Clearlake and Dirksen. Two left turn lanes eastbound from Clearlake onto Dirksen? Anyone who drives north on Dirksen knows that for years cars have slowed traffic as they merge from right to left lane where the road narrows at Arrow Trailer and Equipment Company. Thanks for nothing.
FESS UP GOV
I can’t help but think something is rotten in Denmark! If the governor chooses to close two state-operated developmental centers, why would Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia be chosen over Choate Developmental Center in Anna? Murray administration has been working at Choate in the recent past to keep it from being decertified. The justice department has been there watching it closely and may still be for all I know. I am trying to trust the folks who hold the money for my son’s future but when I ask this question to the Divison of Developmental Disabilities, I get silence and stuttering and pass-the-buck responses. The last time I asked this question, I was told that this was not something that this individual was free to disclose. Why not? I am paying the wages of this governor with my taxes! He owes me transparency and accountability! Why is he choosing to ignore us and have a hidden agenda? I demand an answer to this query!
Editor’s note: Barb Allen’s son lives at Murray Developmental Center, slated to be closed. Presently, both facilities are still open.