Clergy group calls for amendment banning same-sex marriage

Group says voters should be allowed to decide issue's fate

January 29, 2013

By Rebecca Kruth

(WBEZ/Rebecca Kruth)
Clergy members gathered to speak about their push for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

A coalition of African American clergy is calling on Illinois legislators to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

The group wants marriage defined as being between a man and a woman.

One of the members of the group, Bishop Lance Davis, who's senior pastor of New Zion Christian Covenant in Dolton, said he's "insulted" gay marriage is being viewed as a civil right.

"I teach my children, while we love everyone, do not ever drink the Kool-aid that says they’re one in the same," Davis said. "We will fight against it vehemently."

To amend the Constitution, the Senate and House would have to pass the measure by three-fifths of their members, then it would go to voters.

Davis says voters, not politicians, should be the ones who ultimately decide the legality of same-sex marriage.

"Even mundane decisions like zoning and traffic lights are open to input from the community and the constituency," Davis said. "Surely, we should solicit the views and the opinions of the community and constituency on an issue as serious as marriage."

The NAACP passed a resolution last year calling same-sex marriage a "civil right" and opposing any legislation "that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens."

Last month, a different group of more than 250 Illinois clergy members endorsed a bill in support of gay marriage, calling it "morally just." In an open letter, the clergy said, “There can be no justification for the law treating people differently on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”