* 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.