Illinois African-American Clergy Join the Fight for Marriage Equality
October 18, 2013 by Lynne Bowman, Regional Field Director
Yesterday morning, a dozen African American clergy gathered at the Chicago Temple to publicly give voice to the support that exists among African American people of faith for marriage equality. Led by the Rev. Benjamin Reynolds, HRC employee and Director of Faith Organizing for the Illinois Unites for Marriage campaign, the pastors spoke of the tenets of freedom and fairness that are upheld in Senate Bill 10, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act. And they called on the legislature to pass the bill when they return to session next week.
The clergy were joined by Rev. Delman Coates, a leader in the successful 2012 marriage campaign in Maryland. Rev Coates spoke of the delineation between civil and religious marriage and pointed to the strong support of civil marriage equality among people of faith in both Maryland and Illinois.
With the Illinois Veto Session set to begin in less than five days, the announcement from clergy couldn't come at a better time. As legislators prepare to make their final decision about where they will stand when the vote is called, we hope they will listen to the majority of Illinoisans and to this gathering of clergy and vote to protect the freedom of all people while recognizing the fairness that must be inherent in our civil laws.
Video of the press conference can be found here.
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