Chicago faith leader Rev. Tindell supports marriage equality

Chicago faith leader speaks in support of marriage equality

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A group of African-American ministers say they're launching a statewide campaign to prevent gay marriage from becoming legal in Illinois. They vowed to mobilize their congregations to lobby in Springfield, where the Illinois House is now considering the issue.

SEE:Local clergy gather to oppose legalizing gay marriage in Illinois

It's an issue that divides African-American clergy just as it does others. FOX 32 visited with a gay minister who said he and his partner would get married here, if the law changes.

After reviewing their adopted son Cameron's school work Thursday evening, Assistant State's Attorney William Hall and Reverend Kevin Tindell talked with FOX 32 about gay marriage and the Bible. Kevin was ordained in San Francisco in the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. He claims Bible passages frequently quoted to oppose gay marriage actually mean something else.

"There is no marriage ceremony in the Bible. Marriage was around, was property ownership," Rev. Lindell says. "So, when the Bible says that men should not lay with men like they lay with women, they're talking about because you couldn't own men."

With each side in the gay marriage debate now debating the Bible as well, the outcome on the floor of the Illinois House will more likely hinge on political muscle. Mayor Emanuel and wealthy backers of gay marriage have been pressuring legislators for months.

At a news conference Thursday, a group of opponents vowed to bar from their pulpits any politician who votes for legalizing gay marriage.

"We will not allow you to speak in our churches. You will not be invited to our churches when you're running for office. Because we as a community are incensed that you would allow for the dollars that are being spent from special interest groups," says Bishop Lance Davis.

"We hope and pray that the legislators will stand up to such obvious bullying and threats," says William Hall.

Foes of gay marriage, though, claimed some leaders have recently changed sides only because of improper pressure.

"I think that it would be to everyone's advantage to find out what the political, monetary motivations of individuals are," Davis says.

The well-orchestrated marriage equality campaign rolled out endorsements from four former Chicago athletes Thursday, including Cubs legend Ernie Banks and ex-Bears Richard Dent, Hunter Hillenmyer and Brendon Ayanbadejo.

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