* Upping the ante…
Some African-American clergy and conservative Catholics say they’ll ban Illinois lawmakers who vote for same-sex marriage from their churches.
About two dozen priests and pastors joined the Catholic Conference of Illinois to form a new religious coalition yesterday.
“We want to make sure that we a send a message to our elected officials that as a collective community and a collaborative, we will not allow you to speak in our churches, you will not be invited to our church when you’re running for office because we as a community are incensed,” said Bishop Lance Davis, senior pastor at a church in Dolton, who’s part of the group.
The measure is a part of a media campaign the coalition is planning to launch Friday. They’re going to 75 churches this weekend to ask people to contact lawmakers and urge them to vote against gay marriage. They also plan billboards, TV and radio ads.
Remember to keep a civil tongue in your head and also remember that there’s a First Amendment in this country and people are free to say what they want. No broadbrush attacks, please. Thanks.
* Nationally, though, things are moving away from them…
Support for gay marriage has ticked up over the last few months, particularly among Catholic voters, according to a new poll Friday.
Among Catholics, 54 percent back same-sex marriage, while 38 percent oppose it, the Quinnipiac University poll found. That’s a jump from December, when Catholic support for same-sex marriage was 49 percent to 43 percent. […]
Among all Americans, it’s a closer margin, with 47 percent supporting and 43 percent opposing. The pollsters noted that’s a dramatic reversal from their July 2008 survey, which found that 55 percent opposed same-sex marriage and 36 percent supported it. It’s also a slight rise in support since December, when Quinnipiac found 48 percent backed gay marriage and 46 percent opposed it.
* And here’s some info from an Illinois-based economic impact study conducted by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law…
— As many as 11,525 same-sex couples who live in Illinois — about half of the 23,049 in Illinois, according to the 2010 Census — would choose to marry. (The report did not include spending estimates for out-of-state same-sex couples who might travel to Illinois to marry.)
— The state’s wedding business would see an increase of $74 million, and an increase of $29 million would be seen in tourism expenditures by out-of-town guests over the same period.
— Total state and local tax revenue would rise by $8.5 million, including an estimated $1-2 million in local sales taxes. The first year would produce $5.4 million of the increase.
— The boost in wedding spending will generate about 281 new jobs.
Other findings include an expected 16 guests per same-sex marriage, each of whom would spend about $155 per day during their visit. This translates to 184,400 wedding guests in three years, spending a total of $28.6 million.
The report also determined that over the first three years, 5,472 couples now in civil unions would marry, but without an accompanying ceremony.