The Illinois gay-marriage bill had sailed through the state Senate on Valentine’s Day, and it was expected to do the same in the Illinois House.
State political figures, including Mr. Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, both Democrats, and now-former Republican Party chairman Pat Brady, urged support for gay marriage.
Even President Obama made a personal push for the bill while at a Chicago fundraiser: “I wrestled with this for a long time,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday, “and I am absolutely convinced it is the right thing to do.”
But the African American Clergy Coalition, which was aligned with Catholic and other religious and traditional-values groups, stood against the bill. Chicago pastors in particular warned lawmakers that they would not be invited to speak in their churches if they failed to protect the biblical view of marriage.
In addition, the Thomas More Society advised lawmakers that their gay marriage bill had “the worst religious liberty protection of any same-sex marriage bill in the country.” Opponents also criticized Illinois politicians for appearing to be attempting to bribe lawmakers who were refusing to vote for it.
After the legislative session ended, the black pastors praised lawmakers for standing for traditional marriage “despite threats of political retaliation and mass criticism.”
“While today’s victory is historic, the real fight continues tomorrow morning. Collectively, the black church must continue to defend the word of God by speaking boldly of our beliefs, our convictions and our faith,” said Bishop Lance Davis, co-chairman of the African American Clergy Coalition.’