260 clergy - many from Chicago - back gay-marriage legislation
Just days after two Illinois lawmakers said they would push to legalize gay marriage when the Legislature reconvenes in January, about 260 Illinois religious leaders - including many from Chicago - are urging support for the proposal.
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Since: Jun 11
#1 Dec 23, 2012
Rev. Dr. James Lawson is a distinguished United Methodist pastor who worked side-by-side with Dr. King training the activists who participated in the lunch counter sit-ins and the Freedom Rides of the 1960s. In 2004, he received the Community of Christ International Peace Award. Rev. Lawson said of the plight of many gay people: "Gays and lesbians have a more difficult time than we did. We had our families and our churches on our side. All too often, they have neither."
Mildred Loving: "I am proud that Richard's and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight, seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. Thatís what Loving, and loving, are all about."
Rev. Peter Gomes, Harvard University Chaplain: "If society waited for majority opinion and legislative action, African-Americans, for example, would still be enduring the indignities of separate but equal accommodation and the other manifestations of legal, social, and political segregation. If the decision of the Supreme Judicial Court in Goodridge is "judicial tyranny," let there be more of it...
To extend the civil right of marriage to homosexuals will neither solve nor complicate the problems already inherent in marriage, but what it will do is permit a whole class of persons, our fellow citizens under the law heretofore irrationally deprived of a civil right, both to benefit from and participate in a valuable yet vulnerable institution which in our changing society needs all the help it can get." (Boston Globe, 2/8/04)
Since: Jun 11
#2 Dec 23, 2012
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, speaking in opposition to California's Proposition 8, said, "To those that believe in and fought for civil rights, that marched to end discrimination and win equality, you must not become that which you hated.... Those that support civil and human rights cannot, must not, become perpetrators of discrimination against others based upon race, religion, culture, sexual orientation."
In 2009, Julian Bond wrote, "Black people, of all people, should not oppose equality. And that is what gay marriage represents.... No people of good will should oppose marriage equality. And they should not think that civil unions are a substitute. At best, civil unions are separate but equal. And we all know separate is never equal."
John Lewis, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Defense of Marriage Act, remarked, "I am very happy to see the Judiciary Committee holding hearings to address the issue of marriage equality. But at the same time, I must admit I find it unbelievable that in the year 2011 there is still a need to hold hearings and debate whether or not a human being should be able to marry the one they love."
Standing at a podium in front of the State Legislative Building for HKonJ last month, the Rev. Dr. William Barber II, North Carolina NAACP chairman, declared, "They're trying to give people, based on their sexuality, a kind of second- or third-class citizenship. We know what that looks like in the NAACP, and we're calling it what it is."
The Rev. Al Sharpton, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African President Nelson Mandela, the Rev. Dr. James Lawson, National NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous - a veritable Who's Who of civil rights - all support marriage equality.
Julian Bond, who testified, "When I'm asked if gay rights are civil rights, my answer is always:'Of course they are.' Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives, the right to equal treatment before the law.... There's no one in the United States who does not, or should not, share in enjoying these rights."
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