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Gay candidate elected, hardly anybody notices

Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012

* The most interesting thing about Yingling’s win is that his orientation wasn’t really a campaign issue

llinois has elected it’s fourth openly gay member of the Illinois House of Representatives. Democrat Sam Yingling won the 62nd district over Republican incumbent Sandy Cole.

“This is a very important and historic win because Mr. Yingling is the first openly gay State Representative to be elected outside of Chicago,” said Anthony Martinez, Executive Director for The Civil Rights Agenda. “This shows that constituents in Illinois are no longer concerned with the sexual orientation of their representative, but the capability of the individual.”

The 32-year-old Yingling is from Grayslake. As Avon Township supervisor, Yingling was a leading proponent for property tax reform.

* Democratic Senate candidate Andy Manar handily won his conservative Downstate district race even after being whacked by Republicans for supporting civil unions

In a pleasantly pandering mailer sent recently on behalf of state Senate candidate MIKE McELROY, the state GOP displayed a nice color picture of a husband, wife, son and daughter sitting at the dinner table, hands clasped, praying over the chicken and vegetables. Everything is perfect, except that the son doesn’t join the rest in having his eyes closed.

“Who will stand up for our Illinois values?” the flier asks.

The answer, on the opposite side, says in part, “Conservative Mike McElroy believes that marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman” and that McElroy is “opposed to efforts to water-down the definition of marriage and supports a constitutional Amendment to protect marriage.”

Despite the over the top mailer, Manar’s Republican opponent actually supported civil unions as well, despite the district being heavily Catholic.

* And gay rights groups here see a rosy future

Bernard Cherkasov, chief executive of the gay-rights group Equality Illinois, says the election results showed same-sex marriage winning in four states: Making same-sex marriage the law in Maine, Maryland and Washington, and preventing a constitutional ban in Minnesota. These are the first statewide victories at the ballot box for supporters of same-sex marriage.

“Here in Illinois itself, we had many candidates throughout the state who supported marriage equality, who ran in tight, competitive races and who won election, including candidates who were endorsed by our own PAC, so that was fantastic,” he said.

Democrats also will have huge majorities in the new General Assembly, but Cherkasov says when there have been advances on gay rights in Illinois and elsewhere, Republicans have joined, and he expects that to be the case on the marriage issue.

* From the Tribune editorial page

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill authorizing civil unions for same-sex couples, and he has come out for marriage rights, as has this page. It’s not likely to pass in the near future, but time is on the side of the proponents.

Their cause has the advantage of resting on respect for liberty and fairness. Wherever it can also count on public support, it will be unstoppable.

* But some groups, including the Catholic Church, refuse to concede

- The Vatican, reacting to strong gains for gay marriage in the United States and Europe, on Saturday pledged never to stop fighting attempts to “erase” the privileged role of heterosexual marriage, which it called it “an achievement of civilization”.

For the second consecutive day, Vatican media weighed in with forceful editorials restating the Roman Catholic Church’s unequivocal opposition.

“It is clear that in Western countries there is a widespread tendency to modify the classic vision of marriage between a man and woman, or rather to try to give it up, erasing its specific and privileged legal recognition compared to other forms of union,” Father Federico Lombardi, said in a tough editorial on Vatican Radio.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    Looks like you noticed.

  2. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 11:40 am:

    I didn’t know about Yingling’s orientation until now, and that makes me happy. It’s not an issue, save for some select troglodytes and homophobes. Also, on a congressional level, in Arizona, the first openly bisexual member of Congress was elected.

    As for the Vatican, why the change to one man, one woman from one man, several women as it is in the “good book”? Wasn’t that just a cultural thing?

  3. - OneMan - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 11:42 am:

    Kind of nice it wasn’t heavily noticed.

  4. - UISer - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    As a progressive Catholic my favorite exit poll of the night was that Obama won the Catholic vote with 54%

    This despite the desperate political actions of the nation’s Bishops.

  5. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 11:46 am:

    Didn’t know Yingling’s gay. Heard he was a terrific person and a good candidate. So glad he won.


  6. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 11:55 am:

    No chance of gay marriage in Veto?

  7. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:12 pm:

    Once the sclerotic misogynists and homophobes now running the Vatican finally die off, perhaps the Catholic Church can return to its real mission.

  8. - Just Observing - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:27 pm:

    Gay marriage is and will continue to be a losing issue for the GOP. If the GOP has any hope of being a long-term, strong, viable party in the future, it is going to have to moderate its views.

  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:36 pm:

    The times, they do change, most of the time for the better.

    In the corporate and business environments I work in, any comment regarding or questioning of a person’s sexuality (or religion, or politics, or race) would be viewed as base nincompoopery.

    We’re networking to work and make money. It’s business, as in mind yours, in all ways.

  10. - Kelsey - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    Hey UISer - don’t know what poll you’re looking at, but Obama got 50% of Catholic vote. That’s down from 54% in 2008. Among weekly mass attendess Romney got 59% and in Rich’s exit poll from Friday’s Capitol Fax Romney got 52% of Catholic vote in Illinois. I do not care about Yingling’s sexual orientation, but the fact is that marriage is by nature between one man and one woman

  11. - shore - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    Schneider played offense on gay issues against dold which is one of the first times I’ve ever seen the issue used by democrats outside a city as a weapon on their side. I think it helps most with younger voters.

    Biggert’s defeat on the other hand I think she was the last big supporter of gay rights in the house gop caucus in dc.

  12. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    There is no such thing as marriage by nature.

    The GA should pass a same sex marriage bill and legalize marijuana while it’s at it in the next session. Both would be good for Illinois’ economy.

  13. - TJ - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    Marriage is by nature nothing, kelsey. Traditionally, over the past several centuries, it has been between one man and one woman, but just a few decades ago it was traditionally only between one man and one woman of the same race and centuries before that there were very different standards of marriage as well. It’s not a set in stone concept and any argument that there’s some sort of special sanctity behind marriage is irrelevent as that’s a religious matter, not a temporal one. No state action can ever force a religious institution to perform gay marriages, but the state can recognize, protect, and allow for all the same benefits and terminology for gay couples as they do straight ones, and doing so is hardly discriminatory to Catholics, Protestants, or any other religions and denominations that might be opposed.

  14. - reformer - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    Every GOP senator but Rutherford voted against civil unions. The handful of House Republicans who voted for it are already gone or will be gone soon (Beaubien, Black, Coulson, Mulligan and Skip). The tinier GOP caucus will be farther to the right than it used to be.

    The PPI poll from Sept. shows that conservatives represent a shrinking minority of only one in five IL voters who opposes both civil unions and same-sex marriage. Such implacable opposition is not exactly the way to build a majority in this state.

  15. - OneMan - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 12:59 pm:


    Guessing about where you are coming from on this (a religious perspective of some sort) then would you argue that people who re-marry who were divorced for reasons outside of those recognized by your faith (abandonment, violence in the case of my faith) are those folks defying the ‘nature’ of marriage? If marriage is from God, why not let him deal with it?

    Sorry, as long as they don’t force my church to perform the wedding as a person of faith it has no impact on me. I have felt for a while now that God has his definition and the state has it’s definition and they are already different.

    Marriage from the state’s viewpoint is more or less contract law. If someone was to make the person who gets half their stuff someone of the same gender or a different gender I don’t see an issue with it.

    Sorry, when I deal with the log in my own eye, I will address the cinder in the eyes of others.

    Also I am sure Cheryl44 will be more than happy to tell you I am no bleeding heart liberal. But on this one I kind of have turned into one.

  16. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 1:01 pm:

    Marriage “by nature” is not between one man and one woman if either the man or the woman is gay. In fact, marriage between a gay man and a straight woman would be quite “unnatural”….

  17. - Newsclown - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 1:15 pm:

    This wasn’t about being gay: people hate paying high property taxes, and this candidate was for lowering them. Midwesterners are willing to ignore what you do in your bedroom as long as you do the right thing in the board room.

  18. - Barbie - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 1:30 pm:

    I’m with Cheryl

  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 1:58 pm:

    –but the fact is that marriage is by nature between one man and one woman–

    Marriages, then, that don’t produce children are invalid? And all unions that produce children are marriage?

    Thanks for clearing that up. I can tell you put a lot of thought into this.

  20. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:03 pm:

    The times they are a changin’.I vote for Cheryl.

  21. - amalia - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:08 pm:

    Vatican’t-ers should go away. Jesus was all about love. Preach at your own house of many troubles.

  22. - RetiredStateEmployee - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    As a member of the Catholic church or any other church, you should be able to follow your beliefs. But the Catholic church has no business imposing their beliefs on me.

  23. - Endangered Moderate Species - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:17 pm:

    I find the line, “classic vision”, to be very interesting. Wasn’t the Catholic church’s “classic vision” of women, meant for them to be subservient to their husband. If we could only bring Mary Magdalene back from the grave so that she could tell us the real story.

  24. - The Captain - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    Democrats haven’t demonized candidates for sexuality in quite some time. So aren’t we really celebrating that the Republicans finally didn’t demonize a gay candidate? I wish we set the bar for our celebrations a little bit higher.

    Civil unions was a big deal, gay marriage would be a bigger one. Not demonizing a fellow human being seems like a small achievement.

  25. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    I thought marriage was an exclusive commitment from one person to another for a life time together. The rest is a contract relationship that supports the commitment or defines what happens when at least one person in that partnership wants out of the relationship. Been to a lot of huge church weddings and small backyard affairs. The ones where the people involved stayed committed to each other are the ones that have lasted. The others, all faded out. The committment was far more important than orientation or religious background.

  26. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:46 pm:

    What do you all feel about putting gay marriage to a Constitutional Amendment?

  27. - Oh please... - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:52 pm:

    It’s been amazing to watch this issue go from one many candidates feared to support to basically irrelevant. Soon, I think we will see it beginning to be a negative for candidates in the majority of our state to be against marriage equality. It is, after all, about equality. You want to be on the right side of history on this one…and not be looking back with regret if you’re not.

  28. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 2:59 pm:

    If the Catholic Church does not like gay marriage, they should not marry gay people in their church. They should not try to force their beliefs on government and we should have more separation of church and state. Additionally, we should follow the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The Catholic Church is not governed by our Constitution, but we are.

  29. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 3:37 pm:

    ===Looks like you noticed. ===

    Well, I’m hardly just anybody.


  30. - Thinker~Doer~Socializer~Feeler - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 3:40 pm:

    Why not just put the marriage equality question to voters in Illinois and settle the matter that way? I think those who are for it might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Those of you are for it harp way too much about it, and the way you harp is a major turn off.

  31. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===Why not just put the marriage equality question to voters in Illinois and settle the matter that way? ===

    You’d have to move to California first. We don’t do that here. And careful what you wish for.

  32. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 4:01 pm:

    ==What do you all feel about putting gay marriage to a Constitutional Amendment? ==

    Inappropriate. Voters should not be asked to weigh in on matters of civil rights. Hopefully the Supreme Court will take care of the matter once and for all with a determination that the state must recognize gay marriages.

    ==Those of you are for it harp way too much about it, and the way you harp is a major turn off. ==

    We tend to harp when people are engaging in an assult on civil rights. I could care less whether you are turned off or not. Get over it. Doesn’t affect you or your life. I get turned off by hate and bigotry.

  33. - Thinker~Doer~Socializer~Feeler - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 4:06 pm:

    Maryland. Try getting a clue.
    Your harping hasn’t helped you has it? I think when you went all in for civil unions and made that a do or die proposition, you underminded your position on the marriage question. At this point go with voters, I am sure they will get it right in spite of you.

  34. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 4:22 pm:

    The kids get it, thank God.

    Mind your own business.

    For 20 years, I’ve known two couples in my neighborhood, each with a mom and a dad, good Catholics, Golden Domers, as a matter of fact.

    They are all gay, in marriages of convenience, so they could adopt children.

    Sweet people. Good parents. Scared to death of their parents, scared to death of their priests, sad to say.

    Now, their parents are either gone, in dementia, or not a big issue any more. And their priests don’t call the shots, anymore.

    Now, they are all out. Their fellow parishioners (no secrets there) accept them as they are, as they understand The Gospels. Their kids, now in high school or college, never gave a damn anyway (like they didn’t know).

    Now, they’re not ashamed and don’t care what anyone else thinks, anymore. It’s their lives, they do good works and they’re not bothering anyone.

    That, folks, is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

  35. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 4:36 pm:

    Best post headline in a while, Rich. As someone said…progress.

    == that marriage is by nature between one man and one woman ==

    Shoot, I didn’t know nature had the say so over these things. What other state-sanctioned regulations does nature control?

  36. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 4:53 pm:

    Fine Thinker. Then let’s vote on your civil rights as well.

  37. - Sideliner - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 6:31 pm:

    Not a Catholic, but why do some here, who say they are, demand the church change it’s views to suit you? Why not just change to a church that agrees? Maybe if enough left, they would get the hint.

  38. - Freeze up - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 9:30 pm:

    “Gay candidate wins, hardly anyone notices” which is exactly how this Republican thinks it should be. May the best candidate win.

    The best ,(best by far), small town mayor we have ever had in my small town in western Illinois is gay.

    If he had not moved out of town he would be on his third term by now.

  39. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 13, 12 @ 10:13 pm:

    –Not a Catholic, but why do some here, who say they are, demand the church change it’s views to suit you?–

    The Catholic church has been around a while. Some, of course, did leave, notably after Martin Luther had 95 problems, or when Henry the VIII met a nice girl he wanted to marry.

    But why should lifetime Catholics leave? Contrary to what the bishops will tell you, it’s quite an organic institution that has gone through many changes over the centuries, most of them bubbling from the bottom up.

    Most of all, it is, in the literal sense of the word, a political institution, subject to the influence of its adherents. And things change.

    There’s a Society of St. Pius X congregation down the street from me. They went their own way after Vatican II, but were still Catholic. Some of their leaders were ex-communicated. Later, the excommunications were lifted.

    So, there’s always politics, and there always have been.

  40. - ChicagoR - Wednesday, Nov 14, 12 @ 9:28 am:

    “Martin Luther had 95 problems”

    So if he just had 4 more problems, he would have been Jay-Z?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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