6.01.2013

A very sad day for Illinois and LGBTQ rights supporters: marriage equality punted... for now


As you may have known last night, the Illinois House of Representatives gutlessly decided NOT to vote on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act (IL SB10), which was the bill that would've made Illinois the 13th state to legalize marriage equality. This was a bill that I personally thought was going to pass (or at least voted on). Alas, it wasn't.



As a result, I am really upset at the Illinois House and at House Speaker Michael Madigan especially for allowing a non-vote to happen. Also, ANY Democrat that votes NO to marriage equality in the fall session should get a primary challenger!

The viciously homophobic Illinois Family Institute declared last night's non-vote a "victory for 'traditional marriage'":
The bill to legalize same-sex “marriage” has failed to advance in the Illinois House before lawmakers adjourned for the summer. In a bit of political theater, the bill’s sponsor, homosexual activist Greg Harris (D-Chicago) wept as he stood on the House floor to announce that he didn’t have the votes to pass the bill. In a liberal state like Illinois, this is a truly remarkable victory. 
As Christians we know that all good things are gifts from God, and the retention of sexual complementarity in the government’s definition of marriage is a very good thing. The failure of this bill is a good thing for children, for parental rights, for religious liberty, for the common good, and for truth. 
Despite what the bill’s supporters claim in a dishonest attempt to stigmatize supporters of natural marriage, the retention of sexual complementarity in the legal definition of marriage bears no kinship to bans on interracial marriage. Nor does it signify injustice to those who seek to marry someone of the same sex. The failure of this bill signifies that marriage has a nature which the government merely recognizes and regulates, central to which is sexual complementarity. 
We should praise and thank God for this victory in an ever-expanding war on truth, and then redouble our efforts to preserve true marriage. Those who have worked so hard deserve a moment to celebrate and rest—but not for long. Representative Harris has promised to bring this bill back in the Fall Veto Session.
Dear IFI, you may be celebrating in the short-term, but just you wait until the SCOTUS verdicts on DOMA and/or Prop 8 go against your side and the Illinois legislatures vote again on this issue in November, you won't be celebrating then. This non-vote on IL SB10 in the house is NOT a "victory" at all, it is just a delay of the game or even a defeat.

Homophobic cranks at the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) also gloated last night's non-vote in the House as a "victory."
NOM:
Washington, DC — The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today celebrated the failure of legislation to come to a vote late this evening in Illinois seeking to redefine marriage, thus preserving marriage in the state as the union of one man and one woman. The bill's House sponsor, Rep. Greg Harris, announced this evening that he did not have the votes to pass the measure and would not bring the legislation to a vote. Assuming this is the case, the bill is thus dead until the fall when the Legislature reconvenes for a veto session. 
"This effort to redefine marriage in Illinois was one of the most fiercely contested legislative battles in the country this year," said Brian Brown, NOM's president. "This is a great victory for our allies and supporters, as well as Illinois families who have worked tirelessly with us to preserve marriage in Illinois. We are gratified that our collective hard work has paid off in this stunning victory." 
"So much for the inevitability of gay marriage," said Brian Brown. "With a coalition that included strong support from the African American community as well as so many others throughout the state, we did what nobody in the intelligentsia thought was possible. This is a huge victory at a pivotal time, and totally undercuts the lie that somehow same-sex marriage is inevitable."
What you're really doing, NOM, is that you're only delaying the inevitable passage of marriage equality in the state.


But here's the good news: When the Fall Veto Session resumes, hopefully we'll get marriage equality passed and done right!! Pray for it to be passed this fall!!!


Chicago Phoenix:
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois gay and lesbian couples will not wake up to the promise of full marriage equality on Saturday. 
In a devastating and unexpected blow to marriage equality supporters Friday, the sponsor of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage was unable to call the measure up for vote before time ran out on the legislative session. 
The sudden and resounding defeat for marriage proponents ends an intense, emotional, and at times nasty months-long debate over the issue in the Spring legislative session, but hope remains for another shot in the November veto session. 
All of that was felt in the House chamber when Rep. Greg Harris, the bill’s sponsor stood to speak minutes before adjournment.
The entire room fell silent. 
Harris rose from his chair, and in a tearful message to the Illinois House, said he was unable to convince enough of his fellow lawmakers and achieve a 60-vote majority required to pass the bill. Those assembled in the gallery erupted, shouting “Call the vote!” But Harris stood, momentarily crippled by the response, and then continued to explain.
The state General Assembly will return for the veto session later this year.
UPDATE (06.01.2013): Illinois same-sex marriage bill gets a reprieve, will be considered anytime before August 31st, per the Illinois Observer..
(Springfield, IL) – Insider: The Illinois same sex marriage bill had its deadline date for approval extended into the summer. 
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned to extend the bill’s deadline for approval until August 31
State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) told a packed House chamber on Friday evening that he had to put off a vote on the proposal until November. 
However, were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation. 
If Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, Madigan could call a House special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted. 
Nevertheless, during a summer session, House lawmakers would need to amend the bill and change the effective date from “30 days” from a gubernatorial signature to January 1 in order to avoid a 3/5th or 71 vote requirement, an insurmountable hurdle.
Amending the bill’s effective date would also require an Illinois Senate vote to concur with such a change.

That is at least some good news.



More on the IL marriage equality fight, see the #IL4M tag on Justin's Political Corner: http://justinspoliticalcorner.tumblr.com/tagged/IL4M


Twitter/Instagram hashtags in support of IL SB10: #IL4M, #ILove, #ILequality, #ILSB10, #FightBackIL

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