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It's National Marriage Week!

By Joseph Erbentraut in News on Feb 10, 2010 9:40PM

2010_02_10_marriageweek.jpg We reported last week that LGBT activists in the city are celebrating National Freedom to Marry Day next Sunday with a picket of the Holy Name Cathedral, but we left out that others in the state are celebrating a holiday with a nearly identical name but confoundingly opposite goals.

As the Illinois Family Institute reports, in addition to news that "abstinence education works" and "stem cell research .. is a failure," this week is also National Marriage Week. Advocates of the so-called "natrual family" say their goal is to "reduce the divorce rate and build a stronger marriage culture, which reduces poverty and benefits children." They would like to see churches make a serious commitment to support marriage culture via such activities as marriage classes and courtship and dating seminars.

Among the pluses the National Marriage Week folks tout are financial stability, better health, less troubled kids and greater happiness. And while they'd like to see these benefits enjoyed by more Americans, it doesn't seem as though gay and lesbian families are included in that appeal.

The IFI recently launched a campaign against Oak Park's Beye Elementary School for sponsoring training sessions on gay issues for teachers and staff. The school is home to some ten gay families. According to principal Jonathan Ellwanger, the discussions were preceded by "an incident last year in which some mean and hurtful speech with [gay slurs] was [targeted at] one of our students who is part of a two-mom family." But the organization sees them, instead, as an exploitation of the school by "homosexual activists."

"I completely understand why they would want to normalize this and rid people of disapproval," IFI rep Laurie Higgins told the Trib. "But it's not appropriate to undermine the moral conviction of conservative parents and use taxpayers' resources for this."