Local clergy gather to oppose legalizing gay marriage in Ill. - FOX 35 News Orlando

Local clergy gather to oppose legalizing gay marriage in Illinois

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Local clergy will gather Thursday to say that gay marriage is not right for Illinois. The coalition brings together members of the Chicago Black Clergy, the Catholic Conference of Illinois and the Lutheran Church.

These are clergy who have generally opposed the concept of gay marriage in the past, but FOX 32 News has learned that the African American representatives in the Illinois House will be the primary focus of this group's lobbying.

Voter opinion surveys show supporters of gay marriage - they call it marriage equality - have made big gains in the African American community, most notably since President Obama endorsed the drive in Illinois late last year. There have also been endorsements from some black pastors, notably Trinity's Rev. Otis Moss.

While the measure sailed through the Illinois State Senate on Valentine's Day last month, sponsors have been unable to round up enough votes to even call for a vote in the Illinois House.

Among those expected to join a news conference in downtown Chicago on Thursday are Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago, a representative of the Lutheran Church and leading local black clergy, including Bishop Larry Trotter.

Backers of gay marriage have, in late December and early January, ran radio ads on black oriented stations. The idea this group is going to deliver is that they want to launch a counter offensive.

They know that this is very, very close in the Illinois House, within a few votes either way.

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