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Black ministers want “No” vote on gay marriage

Monday, Jan 7, 2013

* I talked to an African-American House member about this development last night. He was very concerned and indicated that it might change his vote to “No.” From a press release…


Monday, January 7th, 2013 @ 11:00 A.M.
Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, 5729 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago IL

Chicago, IL—Reverend Kenneth Giles-Senior Pastor of the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church- will lead a mass group of Chicagoland African American Clergymen in sending a clear message to the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, the four Legislative Leaders and the entire Illinois Legislaturein demanding that the General Assembly NOT pass the upcoming Gay Marriage Bill.

The Clergymen will express their disappointment in various Illinois Legislators who frequent many black churches for votes but often have deaf ears to serious issues such as the pending Gay Marriage bill in which the mainstream black church strongly opposes. The group will also share their plan to lobby the General Assembly, particularly the Illinois House of Representatives, who are considering having the bill called for a vote on this week.

There won’t be a vote on gay marriage in the House this week, but a message will surely be sent.

* Meanwhile, newspaper editorial boards are lining up in support. The most recent…

* St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Saying yes to ‘I Do’ for everyone

* Peoria Journal Star: Only a matter of time for marriage equality

* State Journal-Register: Legislature should approve gay marriage

* And the Thomas More Society has issued an open letter to the Illinois General Assembly

However, if you vote “Yes” to the proposed same-sex marriage bill, you will harm your constituents in two primary ways:

1) You will declare your constituents who believe that marriage is a union of one man and one woman to be bigots and discriminators. You will further ensure that this declaration is reinforced through official government policy. For instance, as in other states, you may see public schools in your district instruct children, beginning in kindergarten, that (a) same-sex couples and same-sex sexual activity are the same as opposite-sex married couples and opposite-sex marital sexual activity or that (b) kids do not need both a mom and a dad - two moms or two dads are just as good. Parents in your district who disagree have no right under law to opt their young children out of this kind of instruction.

2) You will strip away the meager religious liberty protections of the 2010 civil union law, as these protections are not included in the 2013 same-sex marriage bill. These religious liberty protections currently provide explicit shelter to Catholic Charities and other faith-based adoption agencies in providing private adoptions. These protections also shelter Evangelical, Catholic, and other faith-based organizations, including hospitals and schools, from being charged with Illinois Human Rights Act violations when they follow their beliefs on marriage in employment, facilities rental, and other decisions. Penalties for violating the Human Rights Act include fines, injunctions, and other penalties intended to force acceptance of same-sex unions.

What benefit would a “Yes” vote provide to same-sex couples? The mere changing of a title of a license - such that the license for most same-sex unions would now read “marriage license” instead of “civil union license.” And, if the example of other states holds true here, the words ‚”Husband” and “Wife” would be stricken from marriage licenses in favor of “Party A” and “Party B.” Again, a “yes” vote on same sex marriage would not grant a single additional substantive legal right to any homosexual couple in Illinois.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Christopher - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 10:54 am:

    A group of black ministers are upset about gay marriage? Well shouldn’t they first worry about their own community first? How does it hurt them if two men or two women decide to get married and obtain the same benefits that other couples enjoy?

    The black community has a record number of babies being born outside of marriage, a record number of black men are imprisoned, young black males are dying in the streets of Chicago. Black ministers clean up your own back yard. You have much cleaning to do.

  2. - jakecp - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    I am curious to see how some of the south-side and west-side legislators (Chicago) are going to vote on this bill.

  3. - ChicagoR - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 10:56 am:

    The Thomas More Society is, as always, disingenuous in the name of God. As to their second argument, marriage equality would grant all sorts of federal rights to same sex couples as soon as the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA as expected in the next few months. Civil unions won’t get those same rights.

  4. - Wensicia - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:00 am:

    Where do they come up with the fiction public schools will teach homosexuality to children? Where is this done in states where gay marriage is legal?

    Typical, hysterical overreaction.

  5. - walkinfool - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    The black clergy are a political force to be reckoned with. Some of them came out strongly against civil unions, but didn’t quite carry the day.

    The Thomas More Society is more extreme and dishonest than most actual Catholic clergy, not to say most Catholics. Some key bishops have said they are embarassed by their claims, but can do little to moderate them. No one is declaring anyone a “bigot”, or changing elementary school curricula with this bill. Their continuing scare tactics and dishonesty caused me to discount most of the Society’s statements, and to believe that they are the worst lobbyists in Springfield.

    The Thomas More Society is an embarassment to the Church.

  6. - Skeeter - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    “You will declare your constituents who believe that marriage is a union of one man and one woman to be bigots and discriminator.”

    No, they can believe whatever they want.

    However, if they act on their beliefs they are, in fact, bigots and discrimators.

    Outside of a religious building, who gets married is none of anybody’s business. As soon as they impose their religious views on people who are not members of the faith, it is discrimination.

  7. - amalia - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    how quickly they forget their own history.

  8. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:19 am:

    I interpreted Obama stepping out and saying he would vote for gay marriage if he was still in the GA as pre-emptive cover for black GA members.

    Might have worked if the Senate could have gotten a bill passed last week.

  9. - Ray Midge - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:20 am:

    Several black ministers and public figures came out last week in support of equal marriage. The fact is, the law should treat all people equally.

  10. - Responsa - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:26 am:

    Good grief! Titles of husband or wife might be stricken from marriage licenses? Replaced with Party A and Party B??? How utterly tender and romantic! (How utterly insulting.) Perhaps in any bill language that is crafted here people could have a choice whether to be named/called a husband, a wife or a party on the marriage license? How ’bout that?.

    Almost every gay couple I know lovingly and proudly use the “my husband”, “my wife” language when introducing their same sex spouse.

  11. - zatoichi - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    Like how TMS moves from ‘you will harm your constituents’ to ‘as in other states, you may see public schools in your district instruct children, beginning in kindergarten,’ conjecture. What states do this? Based on TMS, it seems the single parent families in my neighborhood are not good and the ones with two moms or two dads are just doomed. I guess the WWJD sentiment does not apply to these families.

  12. - Liberty_First - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    Thank you for posting this Rich. Nice to see a journalist posting both sides of an issue.

  13. - Lundstrom - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 12:07 pm:

    Gay marriage is so not like Loving v. Virginia because African Americans and whites did not have the civil union option that so many gays enjoy. The civil union option that so many lawmakers and many others in Illinois celebrated only a couple of short years ago (Deb Mell and Iris Martinez dancing in the aisles). No attempts to be fair to black and white couples were ever made, no special accomdodations, no nothing.

    Why is that only white gays do most of the talking about marriage equality? And in doing so always want to link it to the African American struggle for civil rights?

    Forget their history? Wow, how disrespectful toward African Americans can you get? I guess it is possible that many African Americans (e.g.,the aforementioned clerly) are offended by the constant usage of their culture and history by a group of people who don’t really care about African American culture and history, expect for when they think it can help them score sympathy political points.

  14. - JoeVerdeal - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 12:08 pm:

    I am wondering if legislators’ fears are not based so much on the initial reactions of those who oppose gay marriage….as much as they are on the eventual reactions.

    The courts might be forced to come down rather hard on certain businesses and individuals who are prosecuted for violations of the rights of those who have standing as a result of a gay marriage law.

    Catholic churches (and most other churches) are now full of congregants who are not supporting efforts to oppose gay marriage. Subsequent prosecution of violators might cause a sudden shift of opinion for these people…..and some rather nasty consequences for legislative proponents who seek re-election.

    There is abundant time for a law to pass now and then cause the brewing of a very nasty ballot box stew for candidates for re-election.

  15. - Lundstrom - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    typo: except for when they think it can help them score sympathy political (not expect).

  16. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 12:09 pm:

    Gay marriage is hardly the end of the world. This is just another group grasping at straws trying to prevent equal rights. It’s a shame that ministers, of all people, would be in favor of discriminating against a group of people. This nonsense about stomping on religious liberties is beyond the pale. You are free to continue to be against gay people, but you DO NOT have a right to impose your religious beliefs on society as a whole. So you are going to be labeled as “bigots?” Well, I guess if the shoe fits . . .

  17. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Oh, and by the way . . .

    I’m gay and I have children and I’m EXTREMELY offended by these ministers and others insinuation that I’m somehow less of a parent because of it. They are offended by gay marriage? I’m offended by their hyperbole.

  18. - Newsclown - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 1:00 pm:

    Ever go to the Bishop Brazier prayer breakfast? Their parking lot looks like a Mercedes, BMW and Cadillac dealership. Follow the money.

  19. - ck - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 2:43 pm:

    Dear Thomas Moore Society-
    If you vote against it, you are saying that the way I was born is wrong and that my parents, grandparents, friends and family should be ashamed of my mere existence. If I could chose to be straight, let me assure you, I would have taken that path. I couldn’t, so now all I ask is for my family, friends, and government to be inclusive and supportive of me.

  20. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 3:31 pm:

    What I found most interesting is that TMS’s point 1 sounds like a great reason to vote YES.

  21. - Ray del Camino - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 4:08 pm:

    It is sad that some black clergy are using their pulpits–which were once used so effectively to help advance civil rights–to now try to keep civil rights restricted for somebody else. Sad. And wrong.

  22. - Ericka_babe - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 8:03 pm:

    When we redefine what marriage is then we make the family structure arbitrary. In doing this we will, as has been already, confuse the nurturing process. Those who are homosexual have to ultimately be supplied (so to speak) by heterosexuals [procreation] thus making it that heterosexuals have no dependency on homosexuals for their existence but homosexuals completely rely on (as do the rest of us) HETEROSEXUALS to keep the population going. With this in mind, it is reckless to toy with the societal paradigm concerning what a family is and what makes a marriage thus so. Homosexuality is a subculture fighting to be regarded as normal. The fact that NO acting homosexual can procreate with their participating partner says that these unions are Anomalies and not the way things should be according to the natural course and order of things. So far the imposition of this subculture has caused school children to question their particular sexuality who would otherwise not explore as deep on the matter neither would as vigorously openly express these impulses had it not been for the proliferation in media the campaign for the normalization of homosexuality. This is clearly an attack on traditional marriage and the traditional family. Try reading “Land of Diminished Distinctions” via Amazon Kindle Store.

  23. - Nick Kruse - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 9:12 pm:

    My two posts seem to have disappeared. Sorry if I said anything bad, Rich. I was just explaining why Lundstrom @ 12:07 pm’s argument against marriage equality was wrong.

  24. - Nick Kruse - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 9:14 pm:

    Whoops. Disregard my last post. What I said before just came back somehow.

  25. - park - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 9:16 pm:

    The issue is before SCOTUS this term….why not wait it out?

  26. - Nick Kruse - Monday, Jan 7, 13 @ 9:24 pm:

    ===The issue is before SCOTUS this term….why not wait it out?===

    Why wait on civil rights? And besides, the SCOTUS probably won’t make marriage equality legal nationwide. They will still leave the decision up to the states. They will probably rule DOMA unconstitutional which will be a good thing, but same-sex marriage needs to be legal in Illinois and that will only be done by the general assembly or the state supreme court.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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