Alton | As people on both sides of the debate wait for the Illinois House to vote on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, Christian leaders continue to gather together to pray the state legislature will vote to protect a traditional definition of the institution.
Danny Holliday, pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Alton, sent out a last-minute call to pastors and church members in the area to gather for a prayer rally last month. Despite the short notice, he said 60 people showed up at Lincoln Douglas Square to pray for Illinois representatives who could face a vote on same-sex marriage this month.
“We prayed for the individual representatives, that they would want to know the truth and find out the truth, and vote accordingly,” Holliday said. “We believe marriage has to do with God, and we prayed that the people would realize this is a religious issue, it’s a biblical issue, and it’s not an issue just based on people’s feelings.”
After passage by the Senate in February, the “Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act” narrowly passed through the House Executive Committee, and has since been awaiting vote on the House floor. Several reports indicate the bill is still as much as a dozen votes short of passage, although lobbyists are working to change the minds of representatives who favor traditional marriage. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently told The Windy City Times, an advocate for same-sex marriage, that he’s “optimistic we’re within striking distance” on the bill. Quinn has said he will sign it if it reaches his desk.
“Hopefully between now and the 31st of May, Greg Harris, our sponsor, will find a moment to call the bill for a roll call,” Quinn told the newspaper.
Holliday is looking toward the end of May too, when the legislature’s spring session comes to a close.
“We have to the end of May. If we can hold them off, we’ll be OK until the next term. We’re confident because we believe God is in this, but we’re not over-confident, and there’s a lot of work to be done yet.”