|Members of the African-American Clergy Coalition — Pastor Andrew Singleton, from left, Bishop Willie James Campbell, Pastor Byron Brazier and Bishop Horace Smith with Cardinal Francis George.|
(Photo: Antonio Perez, Chicago Tribune)
And it is happening in President Obama's hometown, but the mainstream media once again has failed to take note.
The Rev. James Meeks took to the pulpit of the enormous House of Hope at Salem Baptist Church of Chicago and exhorted his congregation to make its voice heard by lawmakers who will vote on whether to allow gay marriage in Illinois.
“We’re living in a time where, here in our own state … they are about to make the law of the land that a man can marry a man and a woman can marry a woman. I think it’s time for the church to wake up,” Meeks, a former state senator, said on a recent Sunday.
With the measure a dozen votes or less shy of the 60 required for final approval, advocates on either side of the issue consider the 20 black Illinois House members key votes in the spring session.
Some African-American lawmakers reject attempts to characterize gay rights as the latest civil rights cause.
Bishop Lance Davis, senior pastor of New Zion Christian Fellowship Church of Dolton said, "Nature and the Bible dictate our stance today. It is not our personal opinion about the lifestyles of any individual that comes in our church or outside of our church. It is merely based upon the word of God."
“When I saw that the lawmakers were excited about passing legislation about same-sex marriage, it’s a slap in the face of the Bible,” said Bishop Davis. “I didn’t see that kind of enthusiasm about stopping children from killing children in the streets.”
Related reading: Homosex Not Universally Accepted; Genesis on Homosex: Beyond Sodom; Church of England Rejects Gay Marriage as Pastoral Provision, Marriage is More than a Lifestyle