Hundreds rally against gay marriage (with photos)

By Anna Yee

February 20, 2013 Updated Feb 21, 2013 at 12:12 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Voices are ringing out at the state capitol.

On Wednesday, hundreds of families, schools and religious groups rallied outside and inside the capitol building, opposing the legalization of gay marriage in Illinois.

"We're not anti-gay," said David Smith, Executive Director of Illinois Family Institute, host of Wednesday's rally. "We're not against the people. We're against the policy that they're promoting that's going to affect religious liberty, education, the public code. Hopefully, we will make enough sense with our lawmakers that this bill will be killed."

Last week, the Illinois Senate passed a bill that would allow gay couples to legally marry in the state.

The House still needs to pass the bill before it heads to the Governor's desk. Challengers hope it doesn't get that far.

"The amendment only seems to protect churches," said Pastor Robert Fields, of Germantown Hills Baptist Church. "What about Christian schools? What about Christian organizations and those types of things?"

Opponents are not just using their voices to rally. They are waiting in long lines that wrap around the capitol building for a chance to talk to their representative one-on-one.

Jill and Steve Delinski made the trip from East Peoria to express their beliefs to State Rep. Mike Unes, who is also fighting the bill.

"We need to let society know that there are people who stand for God's word, and we will not be silenced," said Jill Delinski.

"I've always been a believer that there's power in numbers," said Rep. Mike Unes, (R) 91st District. "Obviously from the amount, the thousands who have come from across the state today, show that there's a lot of passion about this issue."

That passion does not seem to be dying down, from either side.

"I came here today to show that not everyone in Springfield believes in this hetero-normative world," said Sarah Blythe, a Springfield native and supporter of gay marriage.

When a house committee meets likely next week, lawmakers will have to consider all opinions on gay marriage, which are being said loud and clear.

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