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Illinois Faith Groups Oppose Gay Marriage

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Members of Illinois religious groups — from Catholic to Muslim — have sent every state lawmaker a letter calling gay marriage “dangerous” to religious freedom.

The letter sent Wednesday is signed or supported by leaders of more than 1,700 churches, congregations and faith groups. It was given to The Associated Press in advance.

A legislative proposal to grant same-sex marriage could come before the Senate on Wednesday night.

Proponents say it would legalize civil marriage. Religious organizations would not have to recognize them.

But the letter says religious freedom extends beyond the house of worship. A law would “compel” faith groups to treat same-sex unions as the equivalent of traditional marriage.

By JOHN O’CONNOR