So what happens after Quinn signs this? When can my partner and I sign up to get our rights? I’ve read conflicting info. on this — January vs. June — and the popular media shockingly aren’t giving helpful info.
I realize that this legislation is not equivalent to civil rights. This is not the same thing, I really understand that.
But your remark about putting this to a referendum sounds very similar to the states’ rights arguments used to enforse Jim Crow segregation. Equal rights and equal protection are bedrock principles of our government and our system of laws. They should not be subject to the whims of the voters. That’s the difference between a democracy and a democratic republic.
What if President Johnson said that the Civil Rights Act should be subject to ballot referenda in southern states? How do you think that would have worked out?
SECTION 10. EFFECTIVE DATE OF LAWS
The General Assembly shall provide by law for a uniform effective date for laws passed prior to June 1 of a calendar year. The General Assembly may provide for a different effective date in any law passed prior to June 1. A bill passed after May 31 shall not become effective prior to June
1 of the next calendar year unless the General Assembly by the vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house provides for an earlier effective date.
(Source: Amendment adopted at general election November 8, 1994.)
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 3:01 pm:
@47th Ward -
Not too mention the fact that:
1) Illinois law does not provide citizens with a referendum method for enacting statutes, except for narrow referenda affecting the legislature.
2) Left to a referendum, Sen. Meeks’ long-championed education tax hike would never pass.
I like Meeks, but he needs help with his talking points. More importantly, he needs coaching on when NOT to talk to the press. The “Sanctity of Marriage” is a losing issue for anyone running citywide in Chicago…as evidenced by the support of Mayor Daley and every other candidate for civil unions.
- Gunner the Runner - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 3:06 pm:
I apologize for being incorrect. Thank you to those with better information.
- Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 3:21 pm:
I was disappointed that the arguments against were so weak. 1) Slippery slope. 2) We should be doing something else. 3) This will ruin marriage for straight people. And that seemed to be it. If these folks are so smart, they ought to be able to come up with something better. If they can’t, they should vote for it.
47th Ward: sen meeks isn’t the only one, and he probably helped his case more than people want to admit. a large number of civil rights activists are offended at the use of the term civil rights by the lgbt community. they feel it denegrates their own struggle out of slavery. i’ve tried, without success, to make that point repeatedly with lgbt activists, specifically at the national level in working with the task force and other gay rights activitists.
as someone who grew up in the civil rights movement, i understand why many african americans feel this way. you won’t find me using the term civil rights in this regard, even though i understand why the lgbt community sees their struggle for equal rights and protection a civil rights issue. i strongly believe that gay rights would receive a more favorable hearing in the african-american community if they stopped using the civil rights terminology, but what can you do? both sides feel like they have a right to it…
- lake county democrat - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 3:28 pm:
I’m sure Rev. Meeks will be picketing Bears game, since surely the 10 Commandments are more important than a line in Leviticus.
I’d feel bad for Iowa given they were first and we’re taking some of their tourist dollars (will Deb Mell stay home now?). But they voted out those 3 judges, so to heck with ‘em.
I think of my son Sen Bivens. He will now have access to legal protections that his fathers were barred from providing to him. Also, kindergarteners are already shown that that mother-father parents are just like father-father parents. My son’s fathers have been active in his school including field trips and the halloween parade. Welcome to the 21st Century, Sen Bivens.
Thanks Bored, I agree that it isn’t on a par with the Civil Rights struggle and that comparisons do not help the cause of the glbt community. I just find it ironic that the opponents use the same arguments that white southerners used to deny equal rights to African Americans.
And while the issues are vastly different, the idea of equal protection under the law remains a common element. Slavery and Jim Crow segregation are injuries that the glbt community cannot compare with, but gays and lesbians are less than equal in our society nonetheless. Steps like today’s make some progress, but the inequality remains.
Bored Now: That’s a valid point. But it’s tough to put other words around the concept. If you say “gay rights”, people think you’re trying to seek “special rights” - which is the opposite of the truth. The LGBT community is just seeking the rights currently extended to everyone else, including whites, blacks, etc. So “civil rights” becomes an easy shorthand. I wish there were a lexicon that communicated the point without making civil rights veterans feel their past is being co-opted.
OK people listen up! i’m finally free to express my views because even though I’m pro-LGBT and divorced from a TG because she needed to become a woman, and from a biracial family, I’ve never felt it’s ok to express my views.
So here I go:
Exactly Wordslinger- history does not tolerate discrimination (unless it’s against “the man” because, you know, we have been given permission to demonize white men who also had no choice of color) so in the future, I believe in our lifetime, society will finally accept gay people and by accepting that means giving them all equal rights, ie marriage, not just civil unions, and those on record as opposing it will look like the jerks they are
Pot Calling Kettle- Yes, Meeks’ arguments were as poorly delivered as they are thought out. Poorly disguised homophobia. Those obscenely bogus arguments are all they’ve ever had to use to discriminate against gay marriage (”it will be the end of civilization” but they never explain how
bored now- WHAT? How dare you say LGBT don’t can’t use a civil rights argument when blacks have had it for over 35 years and there is one, yes count it, one federal protection for LGBT which passed less than a year ago. Shame on you when you say LGBT issues aren’t civil rights! We’re talking 2010, we’re not talking slavery, we’re talking about a whole group of citizens who don’t have even the basic of civil rights when they can’t get married, openly serve in the miliatary, or adopt children (in many states)
Thank you 47th ward- yes the issues aren’t the same in that blacks don’t have to choose every morning if they want to “come out” as black, and society has never tried to tell them Jesus can save you from your sin (of being a person of color) if only you’d prey and forsake your sin
I support civil unions, but not gay mariage. Now that gays have this there’s no need for any discussion of marriage for them.
Gays are so not like African-Americans and this issue is so not like Loving v. Virginia. Gays have been given a fair compromise. Interracial couples in certain parts of the country were never given any fair compromise, nor was there any consideration of a fair compromise for them. The gay community is really disrespectful to compare its issues to the historical injustices that African-Americans suffered, and continue to suffer in the form of discrimination. Gay people can choose to hide their sexual-orientation and many do, whereas African-Americans for the most part could not hide their racial heritage.
Re: Meeks and Silverstein
It’s one thing to have their religious principles, but just as JFK was questioned about whether or not he would let his Catholicism dictate his presidency, Silverstein and Meeks need to keep their religious beliefs out of policymaking. If they cannot seperate the two, then neither has any business running for public office. Now, if Silverstein and Meeks represent a constituent base that is 100 percent of the same religion, then their votes today were appropriate. But they don’t, so their votes were inapporpriate–both should’ve just voted present or been absent from the roll call.
- lake county democrat - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 4:25 pm:
Read Me — he’s not saying LGBT *can’t* use civil rights arguments, but that they can be counterproductive when delivered with a tin ear. A little recognition that gay rights advocates don’t face even a soupcon of the dangers civil rights activists during Jim Crow faced might go a long way. In fact, it might have won the Prop 8 victory.
–I support civil unions, but not gay mariage[sic]. Now that gays have this there’s[sic] no need for any discussion of marriage for them.
There may not be a need in your world, but many disagree with you. While a welcome step forward, civil unions, for all their benefits, still fall far short of equality with civil marriage. I will continue to press for full equality.
So you won’t mind if I compromise your civil rights?
Gay people can choose to hide their sexual-orientation and many do, whereas African-Americans for the most part could not hide their racial heritage.
So you’d be cool with discrimination against Jews because they “can choose to hide” their faith?
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 4:34 pm:
I agree with bored now that its probably a mistake to equate equality for gay Americans with equality for black Americans.
Just as you always lose when you compare anything to slavery. Because, well, slavery is slavery.
However, you can make powerful comparisons between both struggles, most effective when made by a leader from the black civil rights movement, like Rev. Jesse Jackson. Who of course founded the Rainbow Coalition.
As for Meeks and Silverstein voting their religious convictions — oh well. The beliefs of a lot of other folks in the General Assembly today informed their vote in favor of expanding equality.
Those who say this isn’t a “civil rights” issue . . . Coretta Scott King may beg to differ with you. “Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others”, she would tell black civil rights leaders angered by gays and lesbians comparing their struggle to their own. She would quote her husband and say, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible.”
No group owns the word “civil rights” nor do they own discrimination.
The argument of civil union versus marriage is largely symbolic. I realize symbolism can be important, but before anybody get’s too agitated about it, please at least recognize that it’s symbolic. The Harris/Koehler bill says that a civil union partner has ALL the same rights under Illinois law as a “spouse”. In terms of rights, there is basically nothing left for Illinois to confer - any further conferance of rights would require federal action. If Illinois passed a gay marriage bill tomorrow, not one additional right would be conferred, other than the use of a word.
Here-Here, Cheryl44. This is a civil rights issue. It is not the Civil Rights Movement, but it is a civil rights issue. All groups that have, and continue to, struggle for equality have faced their own struggles and battles. These struggles and battles have been different but all with the same goal: the same civil rights as all Americans.
Special thanks to Rep Greg Harris and Sen Koehler for their continued efforts to see this historic day actually.
Additional thanks to Reps. Beaubien, Bassi, and Black for doing what’s right instead of what they’re told.
So nice to see the party of “NO” is still the party of “NO.” Time to boot these goofs out of office.
I sure don’t recall anyone on the front lines asking those that were gay to please leave and let the rest of us fight alone. I don’t recall the Muslim terrorists asking all gay people to exit the buildings before 911…or to stay off the planes. And I sure don’t recall seeing it written in a burning bush that we Christians were not to allow gays into our society. Perhaps it was there but Moses broke off that part of the tablet.
This is a good day for our fellow citizens…..and in my opinion a disgusting day for our Republican legislators.
So, Meeks believes in protecting the ’sanctity of marriage’, that it should be between a man and a woman. Ok, but to say civil unions threaten that sanctity is a losing argument. What he and others are actually saying is that gay couples don’t have the right to co-exist with the rest of society. And this IS a civil rights issue, not one that sould be put to a vote.
I AM proud of my Senator; Sen. Bivins is one of the few politicians I’ve ever donated money to.
If someone brings their religious beliefs up on the floor during debate, then they put it up for debate. Sen. Bivins pointed out that he disagreed with the (Biblical?) position aired out by someone, but that he would have that (presumably religious) discussion off the floor at a later time. That was very respectful, imo. Take your sanctimonious hyperbole elsewhere. Are you really arguing that a position taken on the Senate floor can’t be disagreed with if a Senator included a religious point in it?
If Hultgren resigned, would that lower the threshold of votes needed to pass bills? I’m assuming not, but if it did then resigning would be out of the question.
St. Louis: while i agree that both sides have *every* right to use the term civil rights, i’m also a realist. since i’m not much into victimhood (and so i won’t speak to it), politics is about addition. if you don’t want the support of african-americans, and, especially, the icons of the civil rights movement, then it doesn’t matter that the lgbt community is knowingly offending african-americans by employing the term.
47th Ward: i won’t argue that marriage equality (and other equal protection efforts by the lgbt community) is or is not “on a par with the Civil Rights struggle.” i’m offended by any kind of institutionalized (and personal) discrimination and we need to do everything we can end it. there are both differences and similiarities between the causes, but the desire and need for equality for *everyone* is the same.
ChicagoR notes that “it’s tough to put other words around the concept.”
i completely agree. i wish i had the answer. i don’t. i remind people that civil rights activists feel this right because i believe that african-americans should and can be allies with the lgbt community in the fight for equal legal rights and protection.
Cheryl44: like i said, if the lgbt community doesn’t need allies in the struggle, then it doesn’t matter (and your sentiments would be valid). we can only assume by your expressing such sentiments that you think that the struggle for marriage equality and equal legal rights and protections doesn’t need the help of african-americans. i don’t happen to share that view…
READ ME!: i’m more than willing to discuss other people’s view about what i actually said. but when you start making stuff up, and attach my nym to it, i just think you’re trying to start an argument. good luck with that. feel free to start over, but if you’re just looking for a foil to spout off, leave me out of it…
- The End Is Near - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 5:21 pm:
– As for Meeks and Silverstein voting their religious convictions — oh well. –
Like him or not, Meeks walked it like he talked it on this one. But it’s a real stretch to equate Silverstein’s “present” vote with convictions of any type. More likely, he was trying hard not to upset any bloc of 50th Ward voters who might support his wife in the next election. (She is currently trying to unseat Ald. Berny Stone in the 50th Ward.)
Vote for civil unions, he upsets the large Orthodox community in the 50th Ward. Vote against civil unions, he upsets the many progressives who live there. Vote present, he lives to fight another day and helps keep some heat off his wife.
Don’t confuse taking the political path of least resistance with adhering to one’s religious convictions.
You may be correct that this law did all it could to create equality. But the reality is until federal law allows true equality with tax laws, social security benefits, the right to serve, etc. Gays and lesbians are still being treated as second class citizens.
Additionally, I am politically savvy enough to recognize that this bill wouldn’t have passed if it was called “marriage” instead of “civil unions” but again it still saying a homosexual relationship is not equal to a straight persons. This bill is a great step in the right direction but it is not enough.
My civil rights analogy is homosexuals were not allowed to ride the bus, now we can sit at the back of the bus. And the amazing thing is many expect us to give up our fight for true equality.
bored now: I think your discussion of the terminology and the strategies is worthwhile. There’s a point in the discussion on women’s rights when certain people turn to me and say, well, it’s not like the struggle for civil rights, no one died or suffered violence etc. that is filled with so many discussions points, not to mention that women were imprisoned etc. the two movements were once intertwined, but then African American men got the vote and all women were left behind, and a great deal of enmity was created including famously in Illinois where votes in the poorest neighborhoods on a suffrage referendum were against women and it went down to defeat. It took an act of the legislature to give women the vote to overcome the referendum. Sounds like Meeks politics to me. movements for rights don’t always see how they are more alike than different.
I was totally shocked to read that Aurora Rep. Linda ChapaLaVia whom represents the second largest city in Illinois voted NO. Perhaps she doesn’t feel the need to represent the gay folks in her District. That speaks volumes to not only myself but all the gay people I know of that support her. WOW
- Not from my state-issued computer - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 6:21 pm:
It is no more acceptable for Gays to invoke the civil rights movement and obstacles that African American faced than it is for African Americans to invoke the Holocaust when comparing their history to the Jews. What African Americans endured more closely resembled a genocide than a Holocaust. There is a difference betweent the two.
As for the women’s movement. Well, the suffragettes who were white and middle class often did not include or welcome African American women. The former were in fact just as racist and prejudice toward African American men AND women as were their husbands. When she ran for president, Carol Mosley Braun talked about how women of color make 56 cents for every dollar a man makes (white women make 70 cents). The women’s movement has not addressed the disparity between women. Issues that concern women of color are largely ignored by the women’s movement to this day. This may help to explain why African American women are offended when they perceive their history being used by white women to further their own agendas.
Likewise with gay people. Who typically speaks for them when they are comparing their issues to the historical discrimination that African Americans faced? White gays and their white allies, not the African American ones. That is another reason why it is so offensive to many African Americans.
The main political similarities between the Civil Rights movement and the Equality movement are the tactics of the oppressors, and the reasons given to continue discrimination.
The goals and specific circumstances of the minorities are certainly different, as are the surrounding societies, but the way in which the defenders of discrimination and the justifications of discrimination may as well be Xeroxed. That’s where the commonality and the unification lie.
The issue of the civil rights movement being used “appropriately or inappropriately” is a two way street. I think African Americans miss an opportunity to build alliances with the GLBT community because they don’t want to compare their struggle with the GLBT struggle. They are different but their are commonalities that should be used to unite rather than focusing on dividing issues.
bored now, I stand with you on this. Your reasoned explanation tracks with observations I have read elsewhere, and mirrors comments I have heard from several close AA friends whose own background (or a family member’s) was in the Civil Rights movement. In my opinion, anyone who truly understands the history of this country “gets” the fact that the historical record supports and clearly documents the differences between the epic struggles of Blacks in this country and any other crusade for equality (no matter how righteous and noble) that has been fought on behalf of any other group.
Objective Dem, how about ALL of us forming an alliance to help people in ALL communities find jobs so that they can feed, clothe, educate, and keep free from harm ALL of their loved ones?
- Okay Then/Will County Woman - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 7:46 pm:
I found it interesting when Equality Illinois could support Pat Quinn when during the primary (and even after) he remained adamently opposed to gay marriage, just like Obama. I’m still not entirely sure how the LGBT community can reconcile being so angry over being denied the right of marriage to support any politician who doesn’t think they are worthy of the right. I began to wonder if the outrage on the part of the LGBT community was real.
But, in talking to members of the LGBT community I came to understand that for them it was clearly a choice between the lesser of two evils. Quinn’s republican opponent, like McCain, was definitely no friend to gay people. Just as with Obama, the LGBT community felt more comfortable with Quinn.
As Gov. Quinn and Lt. Gov. Simon are fond of saying “half a loaf is better than no loaf.” In this context they are right, aren’t they? Civil Union is far from perfect, but it is better than nothing. Based on that I can understand how and why black people may take offense at their issues being thrown into the mix. Blacks and whites (pre 1970s) who wanted to get married were often strictly in the no loaf spectrum of things.
“I think African Americans miss an opportunity to build alliances with the GLBT community because they don’t want to compare their struggle with the GLBT struggle.” —objective dem
Yeah, but lemme guess you aren’t black are you? Objective…maybe you should talk to black people to get a better understanding of why they feel as they do? Your expectations of them, notwithstanding. So it really matters not what you or any other non Blacks think about them and what they should do.
==Does anyone know whether V-Man’s ever coming back? I miss him.–
After the the brave, honorable and historic actions of the GA the last couple of days, where Democrats and Republicans cast aside intolerant dogma and faced down a harsh and scared national tide, he hiked back up the mountain looking for a better burning bush.
Salud, Brother VMan. We’ll all be together in the sweet by and by.
Having said that, all honor to the Illinois General Assembly. We’ll figure out the arithmetic of the budget eventually — it’s just math.
But today, I’m even more proud than yesterday to be from Illinois. And I was pretty damn proud yesterday.
- Objective Dem - Wednesday, Dec 1, 10 @ 10:01 pm:
Okay then/Will County Woman,
I’m not AA but have AA friends. But I can’t say I ever talked to them about why using civil rights analogies to gay rights movement would bother them. Since it has never come up, my sense is it doesn’t bother them or they are don’t care. Most of them are gays or lesbians so that may be part of the reason.
I heard Carol Moseley Braun when she ran for the Senate equate interracial marriage rights with gay marriage rights. This was based on a relative of her’s experience. It was way ahead of the times and made me really respect her.
I look to Harold Washington and the coalition he built with great respect. He pulled everyone together with common cause.
You may think it is fine to say because I am not African I need to keep my mouth shut. I wouldn’t mind if I was being disrespectful. But when I’m talking about finding commonalities to bring together people, I have to assume you are more interested in putting down gays/lesbians than trying to work together. I also noticed that you didn’t try to explain the reason comparison of civil rights to gay rights bother you, so I don’t really know if you have a legitimate issue. I didn’t say they were the same, but I said there are commonalities.
Lets talk about a couple. One is that people judge you not on the content of your character, your knowledge, your skills, or your ability to do the job but instead they judge you based on immaterial issues such as the tone of your voice (too sissy) or the color of your skin. They exclude you from normal business and personal interactions because you just aren’t one of them. You are consider their equal if you act just like them, but if you display variations you are considered part of a “sub” culture. The behavior of the extreme members of your group are assigned to everyone. There is a constant refrain that you are “bad.” I can go on regarding commonalities but you get the sense.
Now lets talk about a few differences. If you are gay, your parents may reject you and tell you that you are evil and going to hell. I don’t think African Americans experience that because their parents are also African Americans. For Gays, people that knew you all your childhood reject you and want nothing to do with you because you are gay. Again, I don’t think AAs experience that because everyone always know that they are black. Or if you are gay and decide to show any display of affection like holding hands, you are sometimes risking your life, because some queer basher, is ready to confront you. Last time I checked African Americans can hold hands without risking a beating. I would really have to spend some time to count up the number of people I know that committed suicide directly or indirectly due to homophobia. The damage of discrimination is deep.
Now I am sure you can itemize numerous serious issues arising from discrimination against African Americans. Some will be completely different from the items I just listed but my guess is many will be kind of close.
So do you want to play a game of don’t compare my troubles to yours, or do you want to work together to create a society without unjust discrimination.
@ not from my state issued computer: I suggest you read more about the history of woman suffrage in the U.S. the movement was quite connected with the abolition movement, including Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth. it’s also true that, like any revolution, the leaders were well to do people. but the movement was not simply made up of wives of wealthy men. Alice Paul and Susan B. Anthony would have something to say about that as well as women from the labor movement. it’s true that there was a huge split, all men were to get the vote before all women and there were a great number of highly educated women who were frustrated that they were not able to put their brains into use in the public arena and that they had no rights, to vote, much on property, jobs. Susan B. Anthony famously got into a huge spat with her close friend Douglass since he abandoned the cause of suffrage for all and the friendship took years to repair. And so, there were lots of men who were able to vote and voted against women of any color getting the vote in Illinois. Women had to wait 50 years to get the right to vote. I make no apologies for their frustration, whatever their color.
Not to be overly cynical on this historic day, but does this mean that Rutherford is setting himself up for a gubernatorial run in 2014? The polls have a solid 60%, if not more, for civil unions, and that number will probably get larger as people accept civil unions as the state of affairs in Illinois.
Would this hurt Rutherford in the GOP gubernatorial/treasurer primaries? Is he entering office as treasurer as somebody less-than-ideologically-pure/not to be trusted?
For Rep Black, Sen. Rutherford, Rep Coulson, Rep Bassi and all the GOPers that supported SB 1716, I congratulate them on the courage to go against the grain of their party.