While the well-followed and highly-influential Rev. James Meeks has voiced opposition to gay marriage, a group of African American clergy today urged the State Legislature to pass legislation legalizing same sex marriage.
On Thursday, 15 African American clergy members revealed they supported gay marriage.
Bernard Cherkasov of Equality Illinois said their support signified: "What I believe is the whole community coming together."
Cherkasov said while the Rev. Meeks was behind robo-calls earlier this year denouncing gay marriage, that 60 percent
of African American voters support same sex marriage.
"The support in the African American community is clear," Cherkasov said.
The endorsement comes as the Illinois Legislature is expected to return next week from a two-week break.
While the Illinois Senate passed the measure in the state Senate, it still awaits passage in the Illinois House, where advocates are working to push it over the goal line.
"I do believe we are extraordinarily close," Cherkasov said. "I do think we are within striking distance."