*** UPDATE *** House Speaker Michael Madigan says the vote gap is even worse than the Windy City Times/Illinois Review estimate…
[ *** End Of Update *** ]
* The Windy City Times took a close look last week at where the roll call stood on same sex marriage. The Illinois Review published it in a more unreadable form, apparently unaware that they were getting their source information from a gay publication.
I looked at the list, which purports to show that gay marriage is ten votes shy of passage. I’ve talked to some of the House members on that list and I think some of the “No” votes are now leaning in favor of the bill.
But it isn’t going to be easy. One House Democrat I talked with last week wants to vote for gay marriage, but his strongly Catholic wife is absolutely, completely dead set against it. Sometimes, these things happen. Legislators are human beings, after all. He said he’d likely push for an amendment strengthening the protections for religious institutions.
Even with a generous tilt, I think it’s still maybe one to five votes shy of passage, depending on whatever the prevailing winds are at the moment. But proponents are pretty darned sure they can pass this thing, so expect a very strong final push.
* Meanwhile, this isn’t gonna work at all…
Paul Caprio, Family PAC’s director, provides the voice in the robocall and says, “Your state representative Mike Smiddy has received $6,500 from Chicago homosexuals.”
Henry County Republican Jon Zahm works as a field director for Family PAC and sent a statement to local media about the robocall.
Mr. Zahm initially said he did not know which “Chicago homosexuals” the robocall referred to.
But in a subsequent interview he pointed to donations to Rep. Smiddy’s election campaign from two groups that advocate for equal rights for gay people and to a contribution from Fred Eychaner, who Mr. Zahm said is “openly gay.”
Smiddy is an avowed liberal. No way will a robocall move him off that bill…
“This is an issue primarily about the welfare of the children, protection of children, and what effect same-sex marriage has on that welfare and outcome,” Family-PAC’s Caprio said Sunday, claiming that children would less likely know their cultural and medical history if their parents were gay.
“Is it possible that what they call Parent 1 and Parent 2 could raise a child in a loving manner? Sure. But don’t you think it’s important a person know who their biological parents are?” he said.
Smiddy said adopted children can seek out their biological parents regardless of the parents’ orientation and called Caprio’s assertion “ridiculous.”
“I honestly thought it was a very ridiculous comment and a very untrue comment,” Smiddy said.
Caprio’s statement that he has been taking money from “Chicago homosexuals” is “greatly offensive.”
* And while these robocalls are more interesting, I’m not sure how effective they’ll be…
With a vote looming in the Illinois House, Rev. James Meeks is taking a stand against same-sex marriage by sending an “emergency message” to Illinois households.
Meeks, pastor of Salem Baptist Church on Chicago’s South Side and former state senator, said the pre-recorded call that reached roughly 200,000 households in 14 legislative districts beginning Friday was sent mostly to African-Americans.
“Please listen closely,” the message began. “Your state representative in Springfield is under serious pressure to redefine marriage in Illinois. If marriage between one man and one woman is redefined to add same-sex marriage, our family structure, as we know it, is in serious jeopardy.
“While being a member of the General Assembly for the last 10 years, I maintained the fact that this decision is too big for 177 people to make. If we are going to change Illinois, as we know it on such a broad scale, then your voice and input are very much needed.”
The National Organization for Marriage, a nonprofit that lobbies for defining marriage between a man and a woman, funded the pre-recorded message. The group’s backers include a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.
“Obviously [Meeks is] a very well known figure in the area,” said Brian Brown, the organization’s president and co-founder. “He’s an African-American standing up for the issue. We’re very happy he was willing to make the calls and stand up for marriage.”
Then again, Meeks may only have to scare one or two votes off the bill to kill it. Stay tuned.