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Sponsors: Gay marriage vote in January

Thursday, Dec 13, 2012

* I should have more for subscribers tomorrow, but if they say they’re running the bill, then they apparently have the votes

Legal gay marriage may be coming to Illinois as soon as next month.

After counting heads and consulting with legislative leaders, the chief sponsors of a bill to permit same-sex couples to get married in the state this morning disclosed they intend to push for a vote in the General Assembly’s lame-duck session, which will occur over two weeks just after New Year’s.

And, in an indication of how big a campaign the pro side is launching, they’ve hired the firm founded by top presidential adviser David Axelrod to help them with media, organization and outreach to potential supporters, including corporate officials.

As recently as a couple of weeks ago, sponsors had indicted that a January vote was highly unlikely with several other big measures likely to take precedence, including reform of state pension plans and a gambling bill that would authorize a Chicago casino.

But that has changed.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Robert the Bruce - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:05 pm:

    Good to see Illinois catching up with other progressive states!

    Amazing how fast public opinion has moved on this in the last decade. It seems to me that it has moved faster than could be solely explained by new 18 year-olds taking the place of older voters dying. Rather, some folks in each generation must be changing their opinions.

  2. - vise77 - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    Robert: You may have a point. I can speak only to older relatives in my Downstate Catholic family, but for them, I think it’s a case of just knowing and liking gay people (who in many cases came out of the closet fully at work or within families within the past 10-15 years). I think some–some–of my relatives were utterly shocked at how normal gay people were, as though expecting some big dance party or parade every weekend. In this case, most of the people I’m thinking about are rather boring homebodies. That helped with my older relatives, even those who take Mass once or twice a week. It helped to soothe what I considered their irrational fear of gay people.

  3. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:17 pm:

    About time. Marriages preformed by courts ( as mine was 32+ years ago) should be doing this anyway, and all the legal protections given to heterosexual couples should also apply to married gays and lesbians. It really is a civil rights issue.

    Churches who don’t agree with gay marriage should be allowed to pass on performing ceremonies without government intervention though. If I were gay I wouldn’t want to be a member of a church that didn’t want me there anyway…

  4. - Wensicia - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    ==Churches who don’t agree with gay marriage should be allowed to pass on performing ceremonies without government intervention though.==

    The First Amendment prevents this from happening.

  5. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:32 pm:

    Wow! Just picture Chicago 6 months from now:

    Gay and straight couples, armed to their teeth, celebrating their marriages at the new casino. Afterwards, they can stop by the medical dispensary across the street and pick up some marijuana.

    It’s a brave new world. And all during one veto-lame duck session!

    Now about that pension mess…

  6. - Undercover - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:43 pm:

    Ah, Greg Harris. Every state should have a Greg Harris, but alas, he’s one of a kind. A true leader. We’re very blessed to have him here.

  7. - anon - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    Roadiepig, churches already can and do pass on performing marriages, such as interfaith marriages…that’s already how the law works.

  8. - reformer - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    If the have the votes, then one or both of two things must have happened:
    1) Madigan must have decided it’s safe to let his targets vote for it. Last year they wanted targets off the civil unions bill.
    2) Republicans who voted NO on civil unions have had an epiphany and now embrace the whole enchilada. Which would be quite a flip in a short time. I guess I could see Mathias voting for it.

  9. - Just Observing - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 1:03 pm:

    If it actually a happens… this will be a welcome change to Illinois.

  10. - Joe Bidenopoulous - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    “Legal gay marriage may be coming to Illinois as soon as next month.”

    Thank God! Illegal gay marriage has been undermining society for decades.

    Nice turn of phrase, Hinz!

  11. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    Wensicia - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 12:24 pm:

    ==Churches who don’t agree with gay marriage should be allowed to pass on performing ceremonies without government intervention though.==

    The First Amendment prevents this from happening.

    Winsicia- please read this informative article on the gay marriage and the 1st amendment. Some who oppose gay marriage spread that false notion to get folks against the principle. Its just not true:

  12. - Mary Sunshine - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 1:31 pm:

    Robert, you are right. And credit goes to our gay legislators who have worked not only on this issue but have become leaders in so many areas and earned the respect of their colleagues on both sides of the aisle - changing the dynamic of this issue and allowing a much more personal and much less political discussion among members about marriage equality. In addition to Harris’ amazing strides on this issue, Deb Mell is a quiet but steady voice of reason and common sense in the Democratic caucus, and is well liked by all. And Kelly Cassidy, who in her first term has shown incredible leadership on criminal justice issues, doesn’t shy away from the heavy lifts and is a real rising star in the House. Thanks to each of them for laying the groundwork and getting us poised and ready to take this important step forward.

  13. - Roadiepig - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 1:33 pm:

    Wensicia- Sorry if I misinterpreted your post if you were saying that the 1st amendment ALLOWS churches to opt out of performing ceremonies. I have heard several people recently who have used the “My church will have to marry gays. What’s next- men and dogs” excuse for their opposition…

  14. - Wensicia - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    ==if you were saying that the 1st amendment ALLOWS churches to opt out of performing ceremonies==

    I was; sorry for the lack of clarity. Government cannot force religious organizations to perform gay marriages.

  15. - Proud - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 2:21 pm:

    Roadie Pig you are right on. I know the Catholic church currently does not recognize a marriage that is not performed by a Catholic Priest as it is considered a sacrament. So what is the governments arguement(I dont think they really have one) about this civil right for homosexuals!

  16. - MrJM - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    MrsJM and I fully support this extension of civil rights to our gay brothers and sisters despite its inevitable undermining of our Traditional Marriage™.

    – MrJM

  17. - Meanderthal - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 2:54 pm:

    Will there be hearings held where clergy and supporters of traditional marriage can express a different view? Back in the day, the Illinois General Assembly used to hold hearings on important issues and then draft the legislation. It also let opponents let off some steam even when they were going to get rolled. They might want to do that here.
    Also, what will happen to civil unions in Illinois if same sex marriage is passed? Will all couples (same sex and different sex) then have the option of civil union or a marriage?

  18. - casey - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 2:55 pm:

    OK, since morality and the Bible and the whole mariage is defined as between a man and a woman is now thrown out the window, what is preventing polygomy from being allowed ? Who is the government to stand between three (or more) people that love each other from a till death do us part ability to enter the marriage contract ?

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 3:11 pm:

    ===what is preventing polygomy from being allowed ?===

    No lobbyist.


  20. - Phobic - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 3:25 pm:

    A brave new world indeed - brought to you by Joes Garage.

  21. - titan - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 3:41 pm:

    @ casey - I have a wife, and recently set a daughter off to live on her own (largely self supporting). I don’t think I could handle any more women in my life.
    But it is an interest point. If not just one man & one woman, why not more than 2 people (of whatever sex)? It could wreck estate tax collections and some other benefits programs.

  22. - Guzzlepot - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 3:53 pm:

    Lol Formerly Known As. Thanks for the laugh.

    All of those are good things I think.

  23. - walkinfool - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 4:12 pm:

    @Reformer: Though I find we usually agree, my guess is that you’re wrong on both points. I recall that Madigan did not direct targets on the Civil Union bill, but rather said to “vote your conscience.” (Some reps directly told him and his staff to not even try to suggest their votes.) And my guess is that Matthias, so moderate and open on many issues, is pretty conservative on this one.

    I think the movement is simply in response to rapidly changing cultural values in our country.

  24. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 4:22 pm:

    Formerly Known As came up with the funniest post I have ever seen on here. Thanks for the laugh.

  25. - TooManyJens - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 4:37 pm:

    If there are valid arguments against polygamy other than “it’s not one man and one woman” (as I think there are, though I also think there are valid arguments for it), then those arguments are still valid whether or not same-sex couples can get married.

  26. - casey - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 4:50 pm:

    Other than the morality of it, which is now a thing of the past, what are the valid “arguments” against consensual polygamy (and not bigamy) other than it is not one’s own personal taste ?

  27. - just sayin' - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 4:50 pm:

    Oh darn I was hoping this issue would stay alive for the gop gubernatorial primary.

    But should still be fun watching what Dillard and Bill Brady do on any senate vote. I’m guessing they’ll vote no, but Dillard will be fretting a lot about it. Probably make himself sick so he’ll have to be absent that day.

  28. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 4:55 pm:

    I know for a fact that a Dem target was told by staff to vote no on civil unions. He did something unusual for him and fought this direction, staff eventually relented, and he voted Yes. Staff was wrong in thinking a Yes vote would hurt him, since he was re-elected without opposition. Perhaps that experience helped persuade the Speaker to let his targets vote for marriage equality.

  29. - (618)Democrat - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 5:51 pm:

    I hope they take the vote and I hope it passes. It is long overdue!

  30. - Peggy So-IL - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 6:37 pm:

    There’s no state interest in recognizing relationships between 2 men or 2 women, but they are free to enter into any kind of relationship they want, otherwise.

    Down the road, however, when the consequences of illegitimacy (a problem across races) are too much for the state and society (in terms of crime, public aid, etc), the state will come up with some sort of legal arrangement specific to male-female unions to ensure that the man is tied to his child and the woman with whom he creates the child. They won’t call it marriage, and it won’t apply to relationships between 2 men or 2 women b/c it’s not the same state interest. It will serve the intended purpose of what has been a civil marriage license. They’ll have to rebuild what we have torn down.

  31. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 7:32 pm:

    Peggy, what on earth are you talking about? Nothing whatsoever is changing about the responsibilities of parents. You’re just making things up to support your disgust with homosexuality.

  32. - Peggy So-IL - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 7:53 pm:

    The purpose of civil marriage is to ensure that men are responsible for the children they create with women–that each man is tied to one woman with whom he procreates. (We don’t have to get to religious arguments for hetero monogamous marriage, just social stability reasons.) Marriage has gone out of vogue to the detriment of women, children and society at large. At the same time, however, homosexuals claim that their relationships are just like marriage and deserve state recognition and tax benefits. They are not the same. 2 men and 2 women are not “similarly situated” as a man and a woman. Biology and history bear that out. The state interest is not in people’s feelings, but in the welfare of children that may issue from a union.

  33. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Dec 13, 12 @ 9:34 pm:

    Thanks @Guzzlepot & @LincolnLounger! Happy to oblige.

  34. - Skeptic - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 8:25 am:

    Peggy: So what you’re saying is that a “family” with two same-sex parents (or two unmarried parents for that matter) is by definition less of a family and ought to be discouraged? And that a family with two married opposite sex parents is always superior?

  35. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 8:25 am:

    Peggy, I’m sorry that you had to have a marriage in order to shackle your husband to supporting the children who had the misfortune of being created in your household. Given your apparent disdain for men, I can see why the long arm of the law might be necessary to keep him around. Some of us men don’t need government to force that responsibility upon us.

  36. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 8:35 am:

    - The purpose of civil marriage is to ensure that men are responsible for the children they create with women–that each man is tied to one woman with whom he procreates. -

    Peggy, I think you’re getting “civil marriage” confused with “shotgun weddin’”.

  37. - TooManyJens - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:27 am:

    ==Other than the morality of it, which is now a thing of the past, what are the valid “arguments” against consensual polygamy (and not bigamy) other than it is not one’s own personal taste ? ==

    It seems like there would be some hairy logistical issues. There’s also the fact that polygamy is practiced in an abusive way by some religious sects (not that making it illegal stops that, but you wouldn’t want to give legal sanction to it).

    These aren’t really absolute arguments against recognizing plural marriage, so much as things that would be very difficult and that we’d need to think about very carefully first.

  38. - Jaded - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:31 am:

    I still can’t believe they have a better chance of passing this in January than they would with 40 and 71 next Spring, but if that is the case, then that certainly isn’t a ringing endorsement for the changing public sentiment on this issue. If the public wants it, pass it next spring with greater Democratic majorities.

    Of course if gaming is rolling off the table, and pension reform looks doubtful, I guess they need some reason to bring people back the day of New Years Day and look like their doing something “important.”

  39. - TooManyJens - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 9:31 am:

    ==The purpose of civil marriage is to ensure that men are responsible for the children they create with women–that each man is tied to one woman with whom he procreates.==

    That is *a* purpose of civil marriage. It has lots of others, most of which are as applicable to same-sex couples as opposite-sex ones.

  40. - Peggy So-IL - Friday, Dec 14, 12 @ 5:07 pm:

    1. Many sociological studies show married bio parents as best situation for children. Even shack-up bio households not as effective. (I just saw some studies looking at Dan Quayle’s Murphy Brown deal 20 yrs later.)
    2. I am an anti-feminist. Feminists did not win freedom for women by liberating us sexually. We’re stuck with the kids alone or we may kill them if we are abandoned by the men. Men are off the hook now. The feminists offer an empty bag of goods to women.
    3. Happily married with lovely children.
    4. One day it may be shotgun weddings when budgets and social disarray are so great that any man abandoning his children and their mother is so intolerable. Single motherhood is NOT working for the poor & uneducated, if you haven’t noticed.
    5. Individuals have many motives for marriage, the primary concern to the state is the welfare of the children. Property etc can be handled by contracts, which same-sex people can pursue rather than turn society upside down for the 1%.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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