On March 15, the anti-gay Illinois Family Institute ( IFI ) abruptly canceled a March 18 rally against gay marriage that it had promoted several weeks and that was scheduled to be held at Broadview Baptist Church. Black gay activists went to the church on March 18, but found only a children's Bible study program in progress.
'The leadership of Broadview Baptist Church is wrong for inviting a hateful, exclusionary group into my hometown,' said activist William Lockett. 'IFI is the same outfit that touted the failed senatorial candidacy of Alan Keyes in 2004,' Lockett said.
Gay and lesbian activists counted the cancellation of IFI's effort to gain Black church support for an anti gay-marriage amendment to the Illinois Constitution as a victory. Broadview Baptist Church is part of the Southern Baptist Convention, which split from the northern states' American Baptist Convention in 1845 to support the moral goodness of slavery.
On March 19, Brothers of The Open Door, a same-gender-loving men's ministry, voted unanimously to forward an open letter to the congregation and clergy of Broadview Baptist Church. The letter seeks dialogue with those who would enshrine anti-gay bigotry into the state's constitution.