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Group Of Illinois Religious Leaders Lobbies For Gay Marriage

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HIGHLAND, IL (KMOX) - Same-sex marriage will soon become law in Illinois if a group of church leaders have their way.

More than 200 pastors and rabbis are calling for lawmakers to approve legislation allowing gay marriage. They have released an open letter and plan to send that letter to state lawmakers.

The Reverend Jerry Bennett of the Illinois South Conference of the United Church of Christ in Highland says he supports the measure because Jesus loved all people.

“Those who believe in Christ know according to Scripture we are no longer Jew or Greek, male or female, et cetera so I think that generally Scripture says we should all be loving and caring equally with all people,” Bennett said. “There are, I think, well over 100 federal benefits that do not accrue to gay or lesbian couples even if they have a civil union in the state of Illinois, they’re still denied the federal benefits.”

Bennett says he thinks momentum is swinging toward support of same sex marriage but admits that not all church members agree with his stance.

“Our denomination doesn’t have dogma or doctrine that everyone has to agree to so we have a wide variety of stances,” he said.

State representative Greg Harris and State senator Heather Steans say they’ll call for a vote on the measure when lawmakers gather next month.

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