Cardinal, black pastors express opposition to gay marriage - FOX 35 News Orlando

Cardinal, black pastors express opposition to gay marriage

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Republican leader in the Illinois House said Friday that three or four GOP representatives may vote to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois. That comes despite a new denunciation of the proposal by Cardinal Francis George and other clergy Friday.

Both sides believe that the 20 African-American members of the house are the key bloc on the same-sex marriage issue. They were certainly the lobbying target when several black clergymen met with Cardinal George.

"If we believe as Christians that the word of God teaches that marriage is between men and women, then we cannot change that," Reverend Horace Smith says.

Meeting at the downtown pastoral center of the Archdiocese of Chicago, they appealed not only to believers in the Bible, but they also cited what they called Natural Law--that the mating of one man and one woman can produce a family.

"Which is evidenced in human history. I mean there are people who are not Biblical peoples, the Chinese, for example, who understand what the nature of marriage is," Cardinal George says.

It's more than an esoteric theological debate. It also reflects the sophisticated, expensive campaigns on both sides of the gay marriage debate.

With Senate Bill 10, the marriage equality proposal, stalled in the Illinois House, gay rights groups are frantically pushing back on the Biblical arguments, organizing a news conference Thursday of African-American clergy who called it another civil rights issue.

"The battle is just very close to being won," Rev. Pearson said. "And we'll look back on this in a few years and, just like integrated couples are married, and at one time that was a big moral issue and social issue and religious issue. That is past. This will pass. And we'll look back on it and laugh."

That deeply offended some.

"We don't particularly like the language of civil rights and human rights as it relates to same-sex marriage and jump to the civil rights that's centered around redefining the Bible. We consider that to be wrong," says Bishop Lance Davis of the New Zion Christian Fellowship.

Still, the chief house sponsor of the gay marriage bill said he's optimistic.

"I think there are people all over the state who are looking at this issue and who are making up their minds that it's the right thing to do," Rep. Harris says.

Some legislators expect the Illinois House to vote on same-sex marriage by the end of the month, but Rep. Harris, who would have to call for that vote, said he's not so sure.

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