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Question of the day

Friday, Nov 16, 2012

* Eric Zorn

Equality Illinois is also trying to sway and count votes in the General Assembly. Since Gov. Pat Quinn has already announced his support for gay marriage, all that’s needed are simple majorities in both legislative chambers, where Democrats hold the upper hand.

A tough vote? Perhaps. But 25 members of the House and 16 members of the Senate are lame ducks, free to vote their consciences or to listen to voices from the future congratulating them on their timely abandonment of ancient prejudices.

Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, a chief sponsor of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, told me Thursday that he’s not sure, given the magnitude of other issues facing lawmakers, that there’ll be time to revive the bill before the next General Assembly is sworn in Jan. 9. And if there is time, he said, he’s not yet sure he has the votes to pass it.

“We still have some education to do,” he said. “My strategy for this is the same as my strategy was for civil unions,” which passed in the lame-duck session two years ago. “I’m not going to rush things unless I’m sure I’m going to win.”

He will win. For sure.

* The Question: Should the Illinois General Assembly legalize same-sex marriage? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Belle - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:38 pm:

    Other states that are less liberal are doing it…why not?
    I can understand Greg Harris wanting to wait until he is sure it will pass though.

  2. - Robert the Bruce - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:42 pm:

    Yes -

    99% because it is the right thing to do; equal opportunity.

    1% because being gay marriage friendly is good for Illinois’ economy as we can attract couples from other midwestern states who don’t allow it

  3. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    At this point is it that much different than civil unions?

    Yeah, lets get it done.

  4. - Wensicia - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    At this point in time, yes. Popular opinion is in favor of gay marriage, why wait any longer.

  5. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:44 pm:

    A wise, old political sage told me once, “Be for what’s going to happen.” Look at the Gallup poll that indicates gay marriage is favored by upwards of 70% for those under age 30. The ballot initiatives on 11/6 sent a clear indication of where the country is headed. The courts are clearly paying attention.

    Those opposed who attempt to pretend the state of marriage in the U.S. is rosy and that gays would somehow ruin it embarrass themselves. It simply is the right thing to do.

    I LOVE how cafeteria “conservatives” are for limited government — except when it doesn’t suit them as in abortion, marriage equality, Terri Schiavo, etc.

  6. - AlphaBettor - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:45 pm:

    It’s going to pass eventually, so let’s get it off the table and move on to more important issues.

  7. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:47 pm:

    It’s time. The government’s role should be to document the legal relationship between two consenting adults. Gay, straight, fertile, infertile, it shouldn’t matter. When it comes to performing the ceremony, a church (or clergyperson) can choose to not perform the ceremony.

    I find it interesting that the folks trying to “defend marriage” want to restrict who can get married, but they are not introducing bills that would make infidelity a criminal offense.

  8. - walkinfool - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:51 pm:

    Trust Greg Harris’ wisdom on this.

    He’s as good and effective a legislator as there is, on many different issues. And probably the hardest worker in the house.

  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    Yes, because I can’t think of a good reason why the state should have the power to bar two consenting adults from yoking themselves together.

  10. - Tom - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    It is going to happen, and give the Catholic Church another big loss for being so pro-republican.

  11. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    As the great Kinky Friedman said, “There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be as miserable as the rest of us.” Hahaha!

  12. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:02 pm:

    ===It is going to happen, and give the Catholic Church another big loss for being so pro-republican.===

    I guess there are no Catholic Democrats?

    If Rep. Harris has the votes, and it is going to happen, then I am for it.

    We in the GOP can’t always be “No” in every district, on every issue. If you think some Moderates, who do vote Republican consistently, don’t think this should pass, then we really have problems as a Party. There are some Republican families that have loved ones who want this to happen, so you think those voters in possible “in play” districts wouldn’t be watching.

    While sometimes you vote “No” because the other side has the votes, and it will “help” by being against it. This time, when the S & HGOP have been Veto-Proofed in the upcoming GA, maybe a few Rs make sense.

    How does the quote go, “It’s good to be on the Right Side of History”?

    “Have all voted who wish?”

  13. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:04 pm:

    Yes, what everyone else said.

  14. - charles in charge - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:05 pm:

    Yes, because every single argument that’s been advanced in favor of continuing to exclude same-sex couples from the institution of marriage falls apart the moment one applies logic. At this point, all the opponents can do is sputter on about “tradition,” which is pretty ridiculous when one takes 10 seconds to think about the multiplicity of non-traditional opposite-sex marriages that are currently recognized by the state.

  15. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:08 pm:


    A very simple explanation: basic civil rights and it’s the right thing to do

  16. - 47th Ward - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:09 pm:

    Yes, and you can make a conservative case for ending discrimination in civil marriage. If the conservatives could separate this idea from where the Christianists have made the argument, it is not difficult to imagine a very bi-partisan vote on this.

  17. - Mouthy - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:16 pm:

    I don’t mind if it passes and I don’t mind if it doesn’t so I didn’t vote.

  18. - FromChicago - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:17 pm:

    What’s the big deal? Let’s get with the times, Illinois.

  19. - Will Caskey - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    Easy votes, easy money, already got a supermajority. It’s the right thing to do and there’s no reason not to.

  20. - 2nd ward - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:20 pm:

    Yes! Why would we let IL lag behind Iowa on social progress?!?

  21. - MrJM - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:23 pm:

    Should the Illinois General Assembly legalize same-sex marriage?


    Why should Iowans continue to have more civil rights than the people of Illinois?

    – MrJM

  22. - Skeeter - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:24 pm:

    What Pot Calling Kettle said.

  23. - Kerfuffle - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:32 pm:

    I’m a conservative but this is an issue whose time has come. This whole thing is a distraction and while I don’t want to minimize its importance to those affected there are bigger problems that need to be addressed. So pass a same-sex marriage act already and let’s turn to other pressing matters.

  24. - just sayin' - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:47 pm:

    Go ahead and get it over with. It’s a foregone conclusion. Might as well do it now. IL GOP won’t even put up a speedbump. And social conservatives don’t know how to fight.

    Although it would be fun to watch the gop field for governor struggle with this in an election year. And if the bill gets a vote in the senate, how does Kirk Dillard vote? My guess is he’s gone that day or votes present.

  25. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:49 pm:

    I really respect the courage of the 28% voting “No” without explaining.

    I guess Rickey Hendon was right, “Just say you don’t like certain folk”.

  26. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    ===I really respect the courage of the 28% voting “No” without explaining.===

    Well, if they do weigh in, try not to be too hard on them, OK? Thanks.

  27. - JTM - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    The bottom line is that this is a civil rights issue.

    Perhaps by asking how a marriage is dissolved gets to the meat of the issue. A divorce is the final termination of a marital union, which cancels the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolves the bonds of matrimony between the parties. Conversely, in order to enter into a marriage, you must legally register.

    It has nothing to do with infringing on any religious institution’s long held traditions and beliefs.

  28. - TooManyJens - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:53 pm:

    Yes, because civil marriage is separate from any religious definition of marriage and ought to be based solely on secular considerations. The secular arguments against marriage equality are unconvincing. It’s true that one purpose of recognizing and encouraging marriage is to provide for the upbringing of children, but it simply does not logically follow from that that every marriage needs to be between people who can conceive children. Marriage is about family formation, and two married people (and their in-laws) are a family whether they have kids or not. The individuals and society both benefit from the formation of stable, healthy families.

  29. - State worker - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    I voted yes. If you tell the Govenor the marriage filing fee will go towards the pension payment he will be all for it.

  30. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:06 pm:

    Rich - I will do my very best, pinky swear.

  31. - jsg - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:14 pm:

    I’ll probably have my gay card revoked and forced to go straight, but I say why waste time on this now? We have a lot bigger issues to face in this state that affects a lot more people than one group. Civil Unions work for now. When we have the pension system and budget under control, we can have the debate at that point.

  32. - StraightMom - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:19 pm:

    1. Because every parent in our country should be able to have the kind of joy I had when my straight son married his fiancee last spring.

    2. Because every parent in our country should have the security of knowing that his or her child has the legal protection that marriage confers.

  33. - Just Me - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    If having a civil union is the same as having a marriage, then how much different is a same-sex marriage from a same-sex civil union (other than the vocabulary)?

  34. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:22 pm:

    Yes. The right thing to do.

  35. - Bryan Turner - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:23 pm:

    We are all citizens of this Republic, if one has rights all have rights. We participate in everything else together why not marriage for same sex couples!

  36. - DannyMo - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:26 pm:

    Because there’s no moral, constitutional, or rational reason not to. Conversely there are numerous moral, constitutional, and rational reasons to legalize marriage equality. I personally hold these truths to be self-evident.

  37. - Foxfire - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    I voted “No” because the government’s ONLY role should be to document the legal relationship between two consenting adults. Marriage or matrimony is a religious or spiritual bond performed by a priest or clergy.

  38. - Oh Yeah - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    YES they should legalize it in Illinois. We’re being left behind by these other states who have already done the right thing. Get it over with and pass it.

  39. - charles in charge - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    STL, don’t expect much more in the way of explanation from House members who vote “No” on the bill when it is called. Ron Stephens was the only member who even spoke in opposition to the civil unions bill, although many voted against it.

  40. - Bluefish - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:49 pm:

    Yes. The ability to marry who you love should be a civil right.

  41. - Liberty First - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:53 pm:

    I voted no. Society is terribly confused about “marriage” and contractual law. This is not a condemnation of same sex relationships and some will automatically assume. Firefox’s assertion of marriage as a religious function is not necessarily so but maybe it should be. If we want, as a society, to throw the definition of marriage out the window, perhaps some consideration should be given to definitions of social contracts and marriage and the ramifications for society.

  42. - JD-Chicago - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:57 pm:

    Discrimination against one segment of the state’s residents isn’t acceptable. Legalize, and do the right thing.

  43. - Grumpy Old Guy - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 2:59 pm:

    1) Its the right thing to do.
    2) How is gay marriage more of a threat to traditional marriage than Kim Kardashian?

  44. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:00 pm:

    Yes. Gay people are no different than anyone else. Religion has no right to legally define marriage.

    I also have my fingers crossed that the feds will not interfere with states over responsible marijuana legalization.

  45. - OneMan - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:01 pm:

    Well, the thing that got me thinking differently about it is the religious aspect.

    If you feel that it is a religious issue than the last people I want involved is the government.

  46. - mokenavince - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:03 pm:

    Yes a State as progressive as Illinois should legalize gay marraige.Anything our southern states are against I’m for,Yankee pride.

  47. - Liberty First - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:05 pm:

    JD- society discriminates all the time. Why not plural marriage? The only reason it is illegal is because Christians and Jews opposed it.

  48. - Northsider - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:08 pm:

    Yes, for all the reasons mentioned above, and…

    Same-sex (civil) marriage been legal for years in Massachusetts, and somewhat less time in Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.

    It’s been legal for years in Argentina, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden.

    And just as it does here in Illinois-with-civil-unions, in all those places, life goes on. The Sun rises in the east and sets in the west. People live their lives the same as they did before.

    It’s time for Illinois to drop “separate but equal” and join that list.

  49. - charles in charge - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:23 pm:

    Liberty First, it’s not good enough to condescendingly tell “society” that it’s “confused,” and assert that if we all only understood contractual law as deeply as YOU do, and truly contemplated the “ramifications,” then we’d all oppose gay marriage in Illinois.

    If you’re going to make a legal argument, make one. If you want people to be aware/fearful of certain “ramifications,” then please say what they are.

  50. - Cheryl44 - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:24 pm:

    Foxfire is saying I can’t be heterosexually married because I don’t believe what he believes about marriage.

  51. - Huh? - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:25 pm:

    I voted yes. Last year, my lesbian sister married her lover in Iowa and capped it with a civil union in Illinois. There is no reason why they shouldn’t have been married in Illinois.

    DOMA is going to be declared unconstitutional. It is only a matter of time before gay married is the law of the land.

    It is time that Illinois gets on the bus and permits something that ought to be a civil right.

  52. - TooManyJens - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:46 pm:

    == If we want, as a society, to throw the definition of marriage out the window, perhaps some consideration should be given to definitions of social contracts and marriage and the ramifications for society.==

    It’s a little hard to understand what you’re arguing here. On ‘throwing the definition of marriage out the window’ — the definition of marriage is not a single monolithic eternal thing. At present, it is a not necessarily permanent union between two (and only two) adults who are equal partners in the eyes of the law. All of those elements have been different at various points in history.

    As to the rest, I absolutely agree that “consideration should be given to definitions of social contracts and marriage and the ramifications for society.” That’s why I’m for marriage equality. I think the ramifications for society are positive, for the reasons I stated in a previous comment. You appear to think this is an argument for preserving the status quo, but it is not clear why.

  53. - RetiredStateEmployee - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 3:47 pm:

    Yes, because it is the right thing to do.

  54. - Anonymoose - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 4:29 pm:

    Voted “yes” and I believe two humans should be able to marry one another, to love and to support one another.

  55. - titan - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 4:33 pm:

    I’d rather have the government get out of “marriage” entirely, and put everyone into a “civil union”. Leave “marriage” to whatever any particular person’s religious institution says it is.

  56. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 4:53 pm:

    ===Marriage or matrimony is a religious or spiritual bond performed by a priest or clergy. ===

    My parents were married by a justice of the peace.

    ===Leave “marriage” to whatever any particular person’s religious institution says it is. ===

    What if they’re not religious?

  57. - titan - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 5:01 pm:

    @Rich - they’d have the same “civil union” that everyone else would have.
    A lot of the problem stems from government coopting the religious institution, and the religious not wanting it redefined. The most peaceable solution might be to get government back out of where it shouldn’t have gone to start with.

  58. - Rich Miller - Friday, Nov 16, 12 @ 5:05 pm:

    titan, OK, you be the one to tell my mother she’s not married any longer.

    Forget it, pal.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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