Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Black Church Leaders Vow Political Backlash if Gay Marriage Passes

Group says legislators who frequent black churches for votes are turning a deaf ear to their opposition to the bill

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Leaders of several Chicago-area African American churches on Monday urged state lawmakers to vote against pending legislation that would allow same-sex marriage in Illinois.

The group said the same legislators who frequent black churches for votes are turning a deaf ear to their opposition to the bill.

"We are concerned because our government is trying to legalize this conduct, especially those who seek to speak to our congregations when they are running for office," said the Rev. Kenneth Giles of Mount Olive Missionary.

The Illinois House of Representatives may vote on the gay marriage bill this week.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) called the leaders' vow of political backlash an "empty threat," and said President Barack Obama's support of gay marriage didn't hurt him in the last election.

"This state just a couple of years ago we approved civil unions, and it didn’t have any negative impact,” Raoul said, according to CBS 2 Chicago. "I don’t think it will have any negative impact in this case."

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