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Meeks says he’s still a “No” on civil unions. PASSED 32-24-1

Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010

* 11:57 am - Sen. James Meeks said this morning that he intends to vote “No” on the civil unions bill when it comes up for a vote today.

This isn’t much of a surprise since Meeks’ record hasn’t exactly been pro-gay. But there had been some speculation that he might change his mind now that he’s running for mayor of Chicago. But Meeks said if he voted for the bill he’d be deemed a flip-flopper who was pandering for votes ahead of the mayoral election and he planned to stick to his principles.

Of course, the other side is it could be darned tough getting elected in Chicago with that “No” vote on his record.

* You can use this post to discuss the Senate’s civil unions debate, which ought to be soon. Watch or listen here.

• UPDATE: GOP Sen Dan Rutherford just announced that he would vote for the bill. Rutherford was just elected state treasurer.

• UPDATE: The bill passed 32-24 with Sen Ira Silverstein voting Present.

• UPDATE: Sen. Rutherford was the only Republican to vote for the bill.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


162 Comments
  1. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:01 pm:

    I’m not surprised, nor will I be voting for him in February.


  2. - S - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:05 pm:

    In a bizarre way, I can respect the guy for being honest in a no-win position.

    Meeks will frustrate some voters regardless of which way he goes on the bill.

    Better to respect your sincere principles (since someone will disagree) and let the chips fall where they may than defy those principles based on potential political gain.


  3. - wndycty - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:05 pm:

    Looks like he is very happy being a Senator, because he won’t be elected Mayor.


  4. - S - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    Plus, the city of Chicago already extends benefits to domestic partners of employees.

    Unless Meeks says he wants to reverse that, is there much more he can do polcy-wise to help or harm gay rights?


  5. - State Sen. Clay Davis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:11 pm:

    Sorry Rev. being stubborn AND wrong doesn’t win you any points. It’s fine to change your mind if you can explain why you did.

    No matter what he votes, I’d say 1000-1 against him winning the mayor’s race.


  6. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:14 pm:

    Here we go! The debate begins.


  7. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:18 pm:

    Opening remarks by Sen. Koehler. Discussing Sen. Dirksen and civil rights as a moral cause.


  8. - DaveM - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:21 pm:

    Did Sen. Koehler just out a servicemember?


  9. - LouisXIV - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:21 pm:

    A “no” vote on civil unions will kill Meeks’ chances for being mayor. Harold Washington was able to win because he received overwhelming support from African American voters and a substantial vote from lakefront liberals. If Meeks makes it into the run off he might be able duplicate the former but the “no” vote (plus his right to life positions) will cost him the latter.


  10. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:21 pm:

    Koehler: This is not gay marriage. It’s a way to provide civil recognition and protection. Sen. Koehler is a clergyman and the father of a gay daughter.


  11. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:23 pm:

    Sen. Koehler discussing relationship to bans on interracial marriage.


  12. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:25 pm:

    Sen. Lauzen: Why civil unions now? The economy is in the tank and the state is in fiscal trouble? This is a waste of our time.


  13. - Bill F - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:25 pm:

    Lauzen makes the feeble, “why this and not the budget?” argument.

    Sorry Senator CPA, this is an asinine argument. Can you, as a deliberative body, not walk and chew bubble gum?


  14. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:26 pm:

    Lauzen: Several years ago, I offered to gays that they are already covered under contract law…this is a smokescreen to move toward homosexual marriage.


  15. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:27 pm:

    Sen Lauzen, irrespective of whether or not this bill should be debated now, it IS being debated now.


  16. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    Lauzen: Talking sex. Why is this a government issue? Marriage is about making babies.


  17. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    Well then, Senator Lauzen it should cost you thousands in legal fees for all those rights you and your wife take for granted.


  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    The best response to Meeks is the “quote” of Senator Dirksen reported by Rep. Black yesterday - it is better to be right than consistent.


  19. - Bill F - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    Right, St.Louis. If it’s such a waste of time, then lead by example…yield your time.


  20. - bored now - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:28 pm:

    lauzen’s comment shows the utter hypocrisy of the republican position. they won’t help whatsoever with the state’s fiscal crisis, but don’t want anything else to be done while the state is in that crisis. just like a petulant child, the best thing to do is to ignore it…


  21. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:29 pm:

    Frankly, I did not realize that a fertility test was required for marriage.


  22. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:30 pm:

    Anyone have an alternative for audio/video. Having no luck connecting.


  23. - Lee - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:30 pm:

    If Sen. Lauzen thinks this debate is a waste of time, then why doesn’t he just sit down and vote yes to get it over with already?


  24. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:30 pm:

    Lauzen: Marriage is for raising healthy children. Discussing single parent (mother-child) families and the problems therein.


  25. - bored now - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    one might wish to argue that marriage is about procreation, but this isn’t about marriage. civil unions are about equal legal rights and protection, not babies. something so simple, so elementary — in fact, the very basis upon which this country was founded. sen lauzen must hate america…


  26. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:31 pm:

    Lauzen: There are no procreative requirements surrounding marriage, nor is the ability to procreate a requirement. Until there are, your argument that marriage’s purpose is the raising of children in a traditional household is moot.


  27. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:32 pm:

    Sen. ??? is now questioning cost to taxpayers


  28. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:33 pm:

    Dear Senator Lauzen: You are making me want to go out and get gay married this afternoon. And then have my gay partner get herself knocked up. However, my husband would probably object, so I guess I won’t.


  29. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    The argument that civil unions should be rejected because of the pension impact is almost obscene. Just think how history would judge a Senator in the 1950s arguing against the repeal of anti-miscegenation because of the cost to pensions of more persons being able to marry?


  30. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:34 pm:

    Now Sen McCarter with questions: How is this not gay marriage?


  31. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    Sen. Duffy-The Government shouldn’t get involved in the private lives of citizens, but the state is broke, ergo, continue the practice of Government barring private citizens from conducting their personal lives as they please


  32. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:35 pm:

    Sen. Duffy is now raising the strawman argument that civil unions would be financially burdensome to the State. Would the gentleman approve the erstwhile civilly united couples instead seek opposite-sex partners, join in traditional marriage and burden the State in a more traditional manner?


  33. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:38 pm:

    Senator Lauzen, you are a disgrace to the chamber. You misguided this debate to totally irrelevant topics. Too bad the Democrats didn’t have a nominee who could beat you.


  34. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:38 pm:

    Sen Koehler: Hetero couples will be covered under this as well.

    Sen McCarter: Can the state afford this, what will it cost?

    Sen. Koehler: We already give partner benefits to same sex partners. Already built into retirement.


  35. - Obamarama - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:39 pm:

    GOP argument is getting ridiculous. This is a civil rights issue, plain and simple. Affording people the right to an attorney and to a fair trial is expensive too, can we just get rid of those rights as well?


  36. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    Sen McCarter: How will this impact private employers and religious employers?

    Will this change the educational curriculum in any way?


  37. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    Rahm’s Parking Meter — keep in mind Senator Lauzen even wins in Aurora proper (and used to out poll even Denny Hastert)


  38. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:40 pm:

    Sen McCarter: What about the budget? We need to deal with the budget?


  39. - Served - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    Sen. McCarter is just running down the NOM talking points.

    “We can’t afford equal rights” is the most mindnumbing and a particular brand of offensive that’s been tossed out there so far.


  40. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    McCarter’s litany of strawmen are falling like ducks in a shooting gallery. Now he’s falling back on the non sequitur of the need to deal with the economy and not the social issues.

    And now we get to his bottom line: “I just think this is wrong.”


  41. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:41 pm:

    McCarter: It’s wrong not to respect traditional marriage.


  42. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    Sen. Jones: I disagree with the sponsor. This is gay marriage. I have gay friends that I respect. But I am against it.


  43. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:42 pm:

    No, Sen. Jones,you don’t respect or support your friends who are gay if you don’t support this bill!


  44. - Served - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    I keep hearing “This is just wrong” and “I don’t agree with this” but not any reasons why the Senators feel this way.


  45. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    Thanks to the Senate for making the House look like a Greek Philosophy Chamber with regards to the civil unions debate.


  46. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    Sen. Jones, you want revenue to come to the state? civil union parties!


  47. - 10th Voter - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:43 pm:

    “There is some major pieces of legislation out there…”

    Really? There IS?


  48. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    To sum up the opposition:
    1) Gay people should not have civil unions because it wrecks marriage.
    2) We need to fix the budget and economy instead.

    Wow! They can’t do any better than that?


  49. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    Regardless of how he votes, Rev. Meeks was not going to get any gay votes for Mayor. He lost these votes with his history of anti-gay rhetoric including the “Gays in Hell” haunted house. He also thinks Buddhists,Jews, Hindus and all other non-Christians are going to hell which isn’t going to play well in the City.


  50. - Bill F - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    Add John Jones to the “well, we need jobs and economic development” argument group.

    So if not today, when. In a month? Will our economy be OK by then. Six months? A year?


  51. - Publius - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:44 pm:

    Sen. Jones brings up the Rome argument again


  52. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:45 pm:

    Rome is burning? Again?


  53. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:46 pm:

    Bivins: I’m not a minister, but I don’t think we are reading the same book.


  54. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:46 pm:

    Do these people not realize gay people will pay the state for the licenses?


  55. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:46 pm:

    My husband and I (we were married in Massachusetts, but in MO or IL, our marriage is not recognized) have long said that we would give very strong consideration to moving across the river into Illinois if IL legalized civil unions. And last night we spoke in more detail, talking about specific communities where we should begin looking for real estate.


  56. - irisheyesrsmilin' - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:46 pm:

    Cheryl44, hilarious! Made me laugh. Hey, isn’t Lauzen the one one who also compared Dillard to Moses?


  57. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:47 pm:

    Keeping up the class-Martin Luther King didn’t take a bullet for same sex unions


  58. - Publius - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    I hate to say this, but they have no real argument against it. They are going into same talking points like Rome is burning or we are going to collapse. In 2-4 years these same people will be praising this piece of legislation has historic


  59. - Damen - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:48 pm:

    Are all these who are opposed expected to be opposed? Any surprises?


  60. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    I should be excited about the civil union bill. But it feels it is the same as being told you can ride on the same bus as long as you sit in the rear. I’m happy that there is progress but civil unions is still second-class status.


  61. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:49 pm:

    Why is the civil unions bill limited to one person-one person relationships? What happens if one person wants to join a union with two others. Two on two. One person and a goat? All these couplings are as valid as the civil unions proposed by this bill. Here is my sole problem with civil unions, and one I cannot resolve.

    Discuss.


  62. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Senator Rutherford to support the bill


  63. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Sen. Rutherford: I’ve been traveling around the state. This bill is opposed by some, it is uncomfortable for some. It is the right thing to do. I will be voting yes.


  64. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Looking forward to getting the e-mails about Rutherford, not.

    Good for him


  65. - S - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:50 pm:

    Nothing like some civil discourse, telling those who oppose your preferred stance on a bill/issue to:

    - just stop talking
    - comparing them to a “petulant child”
    - claiming they “must hate America”
    - labeling them a “disgrace to the chamber”

    Glad to see we’re all heeding Rich today and toning it down… sheesh.


  66. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:51 pm:

    Cincinattus: Should we discuss your lack of understanding?


  67. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:51 pm:

    Are you posting from the Senate floor Cincy? You sound like them.


  68. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:52 pm:

    Why is the civil unions bill limited to one What happens if one person wants to join a union with two others. Two on two. One person and a goat? All these couplings are as valid as the civil unions proposed by this bill.

    -This is blatantly false, so if this is your only opposition to the bill, I welcome your support!


  69. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    At what point do religious institutions get to errode society? when the Palin right wing Taliban gets their theocracy.


  70. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:53 pm:

    Cincinattus: If you want your cat Fluffy to marry your dog Buddy, you go right ahead.


  71. - Bill - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:54 pm:

    That goat thing might not be a bad idea. Can I get a state tax exemption?


  72. - bored now - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:55 pm:

    OneMan: voters are stupid. we don’t really need additional support for that conclusion.

    Cincinnatus: since this bill doesn’t overturn existing laws, not much to discuss. i can only assume that your relationship with your goat is safe, so long as peta doesn’t find out…


  73. - S - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:55 pm:

    Hypothetical question: can one form a heterosexual civil union?

    Don’t know why one would want to, but does this bill prohibit that?


  74. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:55 pm:

    @Cincinnatus: get back to us when the goat can make informed consent.


  75. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:56 pm:

    Godwin’s Law needs to be amended to state that whenever speaking of gay rights ect. the discussion will lead to the fall of Rome.


  76. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:57 pm:

    -S-: Yes, heterosexuals can get a civil union under this bill.


  77. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:57 pm:

    Pot calling kettle, Cheryl,

    Seriously? Polygamy. Okay with you? Why not?

    I have asked a serious question. Try being adult and explaining away my concerns with logic instead of childish responses.

    EazyTurner,

    Surprisingly to you, you might have it. My questions are more based on the logic of the situation, not the morality, on which I pass no judgment.


  78. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:57 pm:

    both heterosexual and homosexual civil unions would be permitted under this bill


  79. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:58 pm:

    Cincy, read the bill. Your argument is ridiculous and a needless distraction.


  80. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:59 pm:

    what will be the final vote total? we are in the final comment stages, right?


  81. - fantasma - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 12:59 pm:

    I can’t stream the video or the audio, can someone whose listening please provide some updates?


  82. - S - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:01 pm:

    Thanks, EazyTurner and St. Louis


  83. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:01 pm:

    —Looking forward to getting the e-mails about Rutherford, not.

    LOL-he voted for the non-discrimination law too so it shouldn’t be a surprise to them.


  84. - Phineas J. Whoopee - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:02 pm:

    “I have asked a serious question”

    Cincinnatus, you asked to marry a goat. lol


  85. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    @fantasma: I’m not hearing anything new. The same non sequiturs, red herrings and strawman arguments are being raised in opposition.


  86. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    ===. Try being adult and explaining away my concerns with logic instead of childish responses.

    Because equating getting with a goat and two adults making an informed, free decision is very mature.


  87. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:04 pm:

    Cincy, we’ve been hearing that tired old argument (polygamy! animals!) since the first time anyone tried to get civil rights to all of the citizens of this country. I can’t take it seriously anymore.


  88. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:05 pm:

    ugh, this health insurance argument. people who get married don’t ask your permission to have children, which no one seems to see as some financial predicament for business. plans require payment various levels of family members. that’s it!


  89. - fantasma - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:05 pm:

    Thanks Saint, it’s killing me that I can’t listen or watch!


  90. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:05 pm:

    Cincy, again, that is not covered in the bill. It is a distraction. Those opposed to civil unions and/or gay marriage have trotted that line of reasoning out and it has been repeatedly refuted, or refudiated if you prefer. Stop. Please. It’s tiring.


  91. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    @Cincinnatus: The traditional model of marriage had more to do with securing property and political influence than what we see as family today. The church’s role in marriage and the role of marriage itself have both changed dramatically over the course of those thousands of years you reference.


  92. - Served - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:06 pm:

    Senator Kyle McCarter appears to be voting on a different bill that legalizes gay marriage.

    From Twitter:

    “house sponsor of gay marriage bill just arrived in the senate chambers. gay marriage bill is being heard now.”


  93. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    Thank you Sen. Rutherford!!! Even if he doesn’t stand for re-election in his district again, that’s still a courageous vote given the communities he represents aren’t exactly on the cutting edge of gay rights support.

    And not only is this the right thing to do, it’s definitely good politics for a statewide officeholder in this moderate state with bigger ambitions than treasurer.


  94. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    Remember, not too long ago, interracial marriages were considered a non-traditional coupling


  95. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    Senator Syverson is arguing that COBRA will require churches to give benefits to civil union spouses when they transfer from a prior job. That’s wrong - he doesn’t understand how COBRA works.


  96. - UISer - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:07 pm:

    Cincy-man on goat-natus,

    The argument has been around for a long time, and it is extremely weak and childish. However, I believe good ol’ Rick “Man on dog” Santorum is running for President in 2012, do at least you’ll have a candidate to back up your issues.


  97. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:08 pm:

    —? Is not there a legal challenge that can be made on the behalf of a three-way union?

    Given the history of polygamy is one of abuse and control and seldom one of choice, not so much. That in itself sets up a compelling state interest to regulate the institution to two people.

    Of course, if three or more people want to shack up and be all crazy, that’s their right in a free society. We just don’t enforce any contracts to come out of that.


  98. - Gutless sheep - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:10 pm:

    Look, opponents, if you are going to be against this, at least be honest about why. What is with all this baloney about pensions and COBRA? That’s not why you oppose this.


  99. - umm - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:11 pm:

    What a historical moment in the Capitol building -debating civil unions in the Senate and Bill Black’s send off in the House.


  100. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:12 pm:

    Stick to the bill please. These silly diversions are not helpful. I’ve deleted several comments and will delete more if need be.

    Do not feed the trolls.


  101. - UISer - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:13 pm:

    Sorry Rich.

    Anymore updates? I can’t access the feeds. Thanks!


  102. - piling on - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:14 pm:

    S,
    Yes. Hetero seniors would benefit. Instance would be a widow and widower who don’t marry because they’d lose all survivor benefits.


  103. - Logical Thinker - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:14 pm:

    If heterosexuals are allowed to form civil unions under this bill, why would anyone get married?


  104. - Fan of Cap Fax - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    Sen Hutchinson speaking in support of the bill, with compassion and strength.


  105. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    Sorry, Rich.

    I was serious about my only LEGAL concern about civil unions. Believe me, I’ve struggled with this for years and thought someone could help me out.


  106. - Fan of Cap Fax - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    Sen Haine speaking. Section 15 being discussed.


  107. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:19 pm:

    is a union between two people held as substandard if it does not involve children?


  108. - Obamarama - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:20 pm:

    ===Believe me, I’ve struggled with this for years and thought someone could help me out.===

    He told us not to feed you. Sorry, dude.


  109. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:21 pm:

    Arch–

    Still going to end up getting e-mails from my pals in the northern part of Kane County


  110. - Lee - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:21 pm:

    Logical Thinker — Civil unions don’t give couples any federal rights, nor would they even if DOMA is repealed. Heteros will not get civil unions because they’ll want social security and federal tax benefits that gays still can’t get. If there were equal rights, many heteros I know would indeed choose civil unions over marriage out of respect for the separation of church and state.


  111. - umm - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:22 pm:

    ==If heterosexuals are allowed to form civil unions under this bill, why would anyone get married?==

    Two reasons: (1) religious views, and (2) tax breaks. People who want to have their relationship recognized by a church will still have a formal marriage. People entering into a civil union are not eligible for federal tax benefits or other benefits permitted under federal law. Opposite sex couples who want/need federal benefits will continue to enter into marriages.


  112. - Fan of Cap Fax - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:23 pm:

    Sen Haine appreciates the work done on this bill so far, however, he cannot vote in favor of this bill at this time.


  113. - Objective Dem - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:26 pm:

    I heard a rumor it will change due to health care reform, but currently domestic partners are suppose to pay tax on the health care benefits received by their partner. This is not true for married couples and is the result of Defense of Marriage Act.

    Again, it is worth pointing out that civil unions are a step forward but they are not equal.


  114. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:27 pm:

    Obamarama,

    Another day, another time, another thread.

    So, for the folks keeping rough count, where does the voting stand?


  115. - think about it - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:27 pm:

    Everyone who wants jobs and to stimulate the economy should be FOR this bill. Weddings are a multi-billion dollar business in Illinois. Imagine how much money will be generated by civil unions! Hotels, flowers, food, etc. This is a jobs bill.


  116. - Publius - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    I move away from my computer and now the audio and video don’t work for the House or Senate, great


  117. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    I guess I haven’t heard a good anti argument.

    I believe a lot of things about marriage that should be the case, however they are not things that should be instituted in law.

    As long as they don’t force anything on the church (and it appears they do not) I guess the libertarian in me wins this time.


  118. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:28 pm:

    —==If heterosexuals are allowed to form civil unions under this bill, why would anyone get married?==

    I got married because I made a promise to my wife and God. The state just enforces some legal contracts and rights for us. I have always been somewhat offended that the state thinks they have a right to define a sacrament in my church.


  119. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:29 pm:

    Quinn is in the (house) Senate! winding down to the
    passage! poignant that it will pass today.


  120. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:29 pm:

    Quinn is now in the Senate Chambers


  121. - Tom in the Burbs - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    ==I heard a rumor it will change due to health care reform, but currently domestic partners are suppose to pay tax on the health care benefits received by their partner.==

    Unfortunately, while this tax relief was a part of early health care reform discussion, it was not included in the final law that was signed by President Obama.


  122. - ZC - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:31 pm:

    Quinn just entered chamber. Must be wrapping up soon.


  123. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    Could we get a ruling from those in opposition on the economic benchmarks that must be reached before the bill can be considered?

    Is that, along with the Roman Empire (who knew it was so beloved?), the A-Game? Again, for those looking for reasons why the Illinois GOP was left out of the national GOP statehouse landslide….


  124. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:35 pm:

    The New Ricky Hendon…..sounds like a tv show.


  125. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    == I got married because I made a promise to my wife and God. The state just enforces some legal contracts and rights for us. I have always been somewhat offended that the state thinks they have a right to define a sacrament in my church. ==

    All be it that my church does not consider it a sacrament, I am completely with you on this…

    If in general I am suspicious of government involvement in a great many things, one of the places I am suspicious of government involvement is marriage.

    God has his definition of marriage and the state has it’s definition. They are different today, they will be different tomorrow and they were different yesterday.

    Let the state have it’s definition.


  126. - Way Northsider - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:36 pm:

    @Logical Thinker - Because they believe in the religious aspect of marriage.


  127. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:37 pm:

    Love how Ricky has made it about him….


  128. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:37 pm:

    Who was the Sen. speaking just before Rickey? I missed his intro when my plug slipped.


  129. - Served - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:38 pm:

    Oh…..Rickey. Rickey, Rickey, Rickey.


  130. - Scooby - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:38 pm:

    It was Sen. Noland, who gave a very nice speech. I was impressed.


  131. - Bill F - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:39 pm:

    Ricky Hendon doesn’t fail to deliver.


  132. - umm - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==I have always been somewhat offended that the state thinks they have a right to define a sacrament in my church.==

    Then you should appreciate that this bill makes it clear the state cannot interfere with or regulate the rights of a religion to choose to ignore or recognize civil unions.


  133. - Cindy Lou - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    Thanks, Scooby. So was I.


  134. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:40 pm:

    Yes Ricky you hate politics, you hate hypocrisy, funny I read your book Backstabbers and I didn’t get that impression.

    Also I like how called your fellow senators womanizers and secretly gay. Stay Classy


  135. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:41 pm:

    can someone explain what rickey is saying (as difficult as it is to translate in blog post form) to those of us unable to get the chamber feed?


  136. - MKA1985 - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:41 pm:

    Thanks Rich and everyone commenting here! I can’t listen to the live debate on my work computer, so I really hope either CapFax or Statehouse News has some video from today.


  137. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:42 pm:

    Is it just me, or is it really awkward for rank-and-file Republicans to argue “Rome is burning” while their leaders sit mum?

    If, in deed, this legislation undermines marriage as Republicans claim, wouldn’t we expect to hear from Cross and Radogno?

    Madigan and Cullerton have both publicly expressed support for the measure.


  138. - EazyTurner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    Hendon: “It turns my stomach, the hypocrisy. Why make it about pensions … just say you don’t like certain folks.”


  139. - Served - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    hisgirlfriday: Talked about his favorite uncle, who was straight, but didn’t want to marry for a 3rd or 4th time (can’t remember). Then went on to say he hates politics, and hates seeing people who are adulterers, on the down-low, etc., speak against civil unions. He supports the bill not because other politicians called him to ask for his support, but because it’s the right thing to do. He said it won’t wreck the state, like it hasn’t wrecked other states who have civil unions or more. And he said voting for it won’t send him to hell, and it won’t send anyone to hell.

    Now take that summary and make it sound crazy. That’s about the gist of it.


  140. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:43 pm:

    again, very moving listening today, Koehler recognizing his daughter and her partner, the historic nature of this, all of it,
    very moving.


  141. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    Hendon: ” The womanizers, those with the relationships on the down low, who stand up and say they are against this”


  142. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:44 pm:

    Judging by the cheer I am guessing it passed


  143. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:45 pm:

    amazing listening to the cheering!!!!!!!!!


  144. - OneMan - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:45 pm:

    32 yeah - 24 nay - 1 Present


  145. - ILPundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:47 pm:

    I don’t say this very often…but BRAVO to the Illinois General Assembly. Well done!


  146. - St. Louis - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    I guess it’s time to start house shopping on the IL side of the river.

    Well done, senators, and thank you.


  147. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    great day for Illinois! let the union party planning begin.


  148. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:48 pm:

    Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!


  149. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:50 pm:

    When is the Governor expected to sign the bill? Any idea when it will go into effect?


  150. - 10th Voter - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:50 pm:

    Served: You hit the nail on the head with that description of Hendon’s words…


  151. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===Then you should appreciate that this bill makes it clear the state cannot interfere with or regulate the rights of a religion to choose to ignore or recognize civil unions.

    I do.

    And Oneman–covenant is the appropriate word in my case as well. I just grabbed sacrament from my mind too quickly.

    And thanks Ricky. Keeping it high minded.


  152. - Old Milwaukee - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:52 pm:

    Hendon hates hypocrisy and calls out the womanizers while Cheryl Axley and Robin Kelly scratch their heads. Get some more tax money for your relatives, Ricky.


  153. - amalia - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:52 pm:

    Christine Radogno…..very sad, thought you had progressed. Viverito…..Maloney voted for it, what’s your problem? Meeks….no mayor for you. Silverstein….gutless.


  154. - (618) Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    A great day for equality, a great day for justice a great day for Illinois!


  155. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    ===I guess it’s time to start house shopping on the IL side of the river.

    LOL–there are so many reasons….


  156. - Scooby - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:53 pm:

    The vote is now online. You can view it here.


  157. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:54 pm:

    Silverstein? Anyone know why he voted no? Was he for more than a civil union?


  158. - archpundit - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:56 pm:

    (voted present ) sorry


  159. - jaranath - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 1:58 pm:

    OneMan: Genuine curiosity here, not snark: Has anyone tried to force anything (marriage-related) on churches/etc.? I’m not aware of any, and I’m trying to think of who would an what their motives would be. Would be interesting to hear. I’m a not-particularly-fond-of-religion atheist and I’d be furious if they tried to force religious institutions to marry people they don’t want to…it’s simple religious liberty.


  160. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    @arch -

    You’d have to ask Silverstein, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that he’s Orthodox, and homosexuality is explicitly forbidden by the Torah.


  161. - Served - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    jaranath, I believe most of the complications have been when same-sex couples attempted to rent a space that was church or religiously-affiliated for a reception, and were denied. Knights of Columbus Halls, for example.


  162. - Ahoy - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 2:00 pm:

    Good for Senator Rutherford! I’m ashamed that more republicans were not with him.


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