The Sun-Times reports about a new round of robocalls in support of the freedom to marry bill. The calls are expected to make the rounds this week and will target Illinois black caucus member's districts. Civil rights activist Julian Bond, and former Chicago Bear Brendon Ayanbadejo will voice their support for gay marriage and persuade constituents to contact their legislators to urge them to vote for the bill.
Ayanbedejo, a three-time pro-bowler, has been an outspoken supporter of gay rights and made national headlines last month announcing that a group of NFL players were prepared to come out in the days after NBA player Jason Collins’ revelation. In his call, Ayanbedejo — who was born in Illinois — touches on being the son of a biracial couple whose relationship was once illegal in this country.
“It’s time to take those steps once again in Illinois. We need to let the world know that Illinois accepts all people regardless of who they love,” he says in the call.
Bond’s involvement, meanwhile, underscores gay-rights’ advocates argument that the modern-day same-sex marriage movement is akin to fighting for racial equality during the nation’s civil rights era.
In recent weeks, some members of the Black Caucus have come out in support of gay marriage, including Illinois Rep. Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), who signed on as a co-sponsor to the pending bill.