* From a press release sent by the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition…
An Open Letter from Athletes on Marriage Equality
As professional athletes, we always played for the love of the game. The competition on the field – whether it was the football field or the baseball diamond – strengthened us and continues to do so. But for that competition to take place, there have to be rules and a code of behavior. Above all, players have to treat each other with fairness and with respect. Doing so doesn’t detract from the competition. It makes it better.
We come from a variety of backgrounds, and we have played different sports for different teams. But one thing that binds us together is our belief in the importance of fairness and respect – in all aspects of life.
In Illinois today, gay and lesbian couples who are in lifetime committed relationships do not have the freedom to marry. This violates our sense of fairness and respect. It also goes against the GoldenRule of treating others as you would like to be treated yourself.
In sports, any time a player is not treated with fairness and respect, the game is diminished. Similarly, treating any group of people as second-class citizens hurts us all, because discrimination is wrong no matter whom the target is.
For this reason, we believe that the Illinois General Assembly should act now and give same-sex couples the freedom to marry. It’s the right thing for Illinois; it’s the right thing to do, period.
Ernie Banks, Shortstop, Chicago Cubs (retired)
Richard Dent, Defensive End, Chicago Bears (retired)
Hunter Hillenmeyer, Linebacker, Chicago Bears (retired)
Brendon Ayanbadejo, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens (formerly with the Chicago Bears)
*** UPDATE *** From a press release…
CHICAGO BLACK CLERGY, CATHOLIC CONFERENCE OF ILLINOIS, LUTHERAN CHURCH-MISSOURI SYNOD UNITE TO FIGHT REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE BILL
HISTORIC PARTNERSHIP TO BEGIN MAJOR PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN
TO LOBBY AGAINST PENDING REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE BILL IN ILLINOIS HOUSE
Thursday, March 7th, 2013@ 1:00 PM
Chicago South Loop Hotel, 11 W. 26th Street, Chicago, Illinois
A mass group of Core leaders of a new coalition of Cook County African-American clergymen, key members of the Catholic Conference of Illinois and representatives of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod will gather and present to the Chicagoland media their public relations campaign designed to voice opposition to the redefinition of marriage bill pending in the Illinois House of Representatives.
The campaign, which is set to begin on Friday, March 8th, will focus on the African-American community in an effort to attract support of traditional marriage in Illinois. The campaign includes Legislative Lobbying, Radio Ads, Public Access Television, Field Operations, a Website and Phone Banking/Robo Calls.
The newly formed alliance is unified in its opposition to the possible passage of redefinition of marriage legislation in Illinois. The legislation previously passed the Illinois Senate, and is now before the Illinois House.
Archdiocese of Chicago Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Perry applauded the initiative.
“We’re happy to join with other faiths as we work to preserve marriage as it is now, as it has been, and how it should always be – between one man and one woman,” Perry said.
“We are extremely happy to be joined by the Catholic Conference of Illinois and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in launching a statewide campaign rallying African-American clergymen and congregants to voice their opposition to the pending redefinition of marriage bill in the Illinois House,” says Bishop Lance Davis, senior pastor of the New Zion Christian Fellowship of Dolton and founder and CEO of Voices of Morality.
Bishop Larry Trotter, senior pastor of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago and Presiding Bishop of the New Century Fellowship Churches International, agreed.
“We stand united with our brothers and sisters of the Catholic faith and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in our joint opposition to any deviation from traditional marriages of male and female, notwithstanding the rulings of the court systems of the land or acts of legislative bodies in support of same-sex ‘marriage,’” Trotter said. “I applaud the Catholic Conference of Illinois and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in extending their support to us in this historic endeavor.”
Rev. Kirk Clayton, pastor of a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod church in the southern Illinois town of Mascoutah, echoed the sentiments of his spiritual colleagues.
“Since marriage pre-dates any government, no government should presume to change God’s definition,” Clayton said. “What God therefore has defined, let not man re-define. I am pleased to stand with my friends of various faith traditions to support God’s blessed plan for marriage.”
(Pastor Clayton is unable to attend the press conference due to a scheduling conflict.)
* Allen Grosboll: Why I changed my mind on gay marriage
* Tom Knox: Why I won’t change my mind on gay marriage: The Marriage Equality Act will become law. It will also become the anvil on which the hammer of political correctness is wielded against Bible-believing Christians. Same sex marriage will be legal, but it will never be moral.
* Zion church at center of gay marriage opposition: The largest and loudest faction at a fiery forum on gay marriage in the 60th House District arrived from an unexpected place — a church in Zion, which lies outside the district.