3/20/2013 12:51:00 PM Chicago black clergy air radio ads opposing same-sex marriage; hope to sway lawmakers
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago-area black clergy amped up opposition to a measure that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, airing radio ads and “robo-calling” residents in black communities urging them to ask their representatives to vote against the bill.
The state Senate last month approved legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry; it awaits a floor vote in the House, where Speaker Michael Madigan has said passing it will be “very difficult.”
A new group called the African American Clergy Coalition said it began airing 60-second commercials Tuesday on black radio stations and also plans a “street campaign” to supplement the telephone campaign.
The campaign comes as supporters of gay marriage have increased pressure on lawmakers to pass the measure. Last week, seven Democratic Illinois congressmen urged support of the bill in a letter calling for “basic legal protections to all Illinois families.”
Some business leaders and religious groups also have voiced support for making Illinois the 10th state to allow same-sex marriage, two years after the state approved civil unions. And Gov. Pat Quinn has said he would approve gay marriage if it comes to his desk.