Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus (CBGMC), has joined a rising chorus of LGBT groups pushing for the passage of equal marriage legislation in Illinois.
The organization issued a statement on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, highlighting disparities among Black LGBT people and pushing lawmakers to vote in favor of the bill.
The statement notes that Black gay man face elevated discrimination and stigma.
"We have fought for issues of justice and equality as members of the broader LGBT communityfrom Stonewall, to the elimination of anti-gay policies, to the fight to reduce HIV incidence and other health disparities," the statement reads. "We also know the history of our culturefrom the Middle Passage, to slavery, to Jim Crow, to voting rights. At one time in American history, slaves were considered 3/5 of a person and were denied the right to marry. Only within the last half-century were inter-racial marriages fully legalized."
The statement goes on to argue that marriage recognition will improve the lives of LGBT youth, offering youth the "hope for societal legitimacy."
"For LGBT youth of color who face bullying and violence, marriage equality offers a new hope for achieving the ultimate aspiration for their relationships and a legal foundation upon which they can build happy, loving families," the statement reads.
GBGMC is Springfield-bound March 20 to lobby support for the bill, especially among Black lawmakers who have been targeted by anti-gay activists.
Those interested in attending can email CBGMCevents@gmail.com . Those attending can drive or reserve a limited seat in the van, which departs at 6 a.m. from Congressman Danny Davis's office at Homan and Arthington.