Hundreds of clergy on Sunday voiced
support for legalizing gay marriage in Illinois.
According to the Chicago Tribune,
more than 250 mostly Chicago-area clergy have endorsed a marriage
equality bill introduced in February and expected to be debated next
month during the General Assembly's lame-duck session.
The rabbis and pastors announced a
declaration in support of marriage rights for gay couples.
“Standing on these beliefs [of faith,
justice and compassion], we think that it is morally just to grant
equal opportunities and responsibilities to loving, committed
same-sex couples,” the
clergy said in their declaration. “There can be no
justification for the law treating people differently on the basis of
sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Chief sponsors of the bill earlier this
month signaled that they have sufficient support to get the bill to
Governor Pat Quinn's desk. Quinn has said he looks forward to
signing the bill into law.
Opponents have also began to organize,
forming The Coalition to Protect Children and Marriage, which
includes a who's who of Illinois social conservative groups,
including the Eagle Forum of Illinois, Catholic Citizens of Illinois,
the Thomas More Law Center, the Illinois Family-Institute and the
Penny Pullen, president of the Eagle
Forum of Illinois, said her group opposes marriage equality because
“Only a marriage of heterosexual persons can produce children and
secure the future of society.” She added that children must be
protected over “the personal gratification of even one single