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Today’s constituent e-mail

Friday, Apr 12, 2013

* Click the pic for a larger version…

Um, this issue is about marriage between two consenting adults, not pedophilia.

Let’s try to make this clear. To “refuse” an adult the right to marry a nine year old wouldn’t be “discrimination.” It would be preventing statutory rape. It’s defined as statutory rape because a nine year old girl cannot give such “consent” to an adult.

* I talked with Rep. Morrison this morning. He clearly regretted sending the e-mail, which he said he did in haste, adding “I don’t hate anybody,” and saying he wanted to have a “healthy debate” on the issue. He also insisted that he didn’t ever mean to imply that proponents are “advocating for statutory rape.”

Still, some things are just best left unsaid. And when given an opportunity to back down, he wouldn’t.

“If you look at my follow up e-mail, I flesh it out.” Morrison then referenced an article about a nine-year old Saudi girl forced into marriage that he’d read a while ago. “Two years ago we were told, we don’t want marriage, we want legal protections, and furthermore there’s going to be no impact on religious institutions… And less than a year later, Catholic Charities is out of the adoption business, and in the next General Assembly we see SB 10. I think it’s a fair question to ask ‘What is the next thing?… I think that’s the kind of dialogue I want to have with my constituents.”

“Maybe this is a little provocative,” he said, but also claimed that he was being unfairly singled out. “I think the proponents of the bill have to keep the interest level up. That’s why this group sent this e-mail to the media outlets.”

“I apologized to her,” the legislator said. “I invited her to a meeting… This is an attempt to make me look like a bad guy. It’s an effort to paint me in the worst possible light. It’s an attempt to assassinate my character.”

* Rep. Morrison also forwarded me a long e-mail he sent his constituent in response…

Dear [Redacted],

I got an email and phone call tonight from Natasha Korecki at the Chicago Sun-Times. She told me that you were upset by the last email I sent you regarding SB10.

I get hundreds if not thousands of emails everyday, and I do my best to read and personally respond to as many as I can. Sometimes in my haste to deliver, words or thoughts do not translate well.

As you’re well aware, we do disagree on this issue and likely will continue to disagree. That’s OK. I have my strongly felt reasons, and you have yours.

To be clear, however: I do not equate same sex marriage with statutory rape.

The point I was trying to make was this: the state already has certain restrictions on what marriage is. The law itself makes distinctions on who can and cannot marry. For example, one cannot be married to more than one person at the same time. You are not advocating for polyamory (I don’t think), but there are those in Illinois who do. Just google Polyamory Chicago, and see for yourself. They argue that the state is discriminating against their sexual orientation, love, desire to commit, freedom, equality, etc.

The state also defines the age at which individuals may marry. There are groups today that believe young girls ought to be able to marry. Check out the following: (http://jonathanturley.org/2010/02/26/marriage “Saudi Cleric Defends Marriage of Nine-Year-Old Girls and Blasts Human Rights Treaties as the Work of Atheists and Fornicators”). Yes, I find that shocking, too! Saudi Arabia is not Illinois obviously, but would this Saudi Cleric consider IL’s law on marriage to be discriminatory? Probably. I think it’s a fair question to ask. By whose standards do we make our laws? I learned to drive a car at age 10. Was the state prejudicial against me in not allowing me to get a license and drive until I was 16? Why not 15? Why not 12? Why not 10?

So how do we as a society deal with differences of opinion and beliefs on important and emotional issues?

We have a democratic process here. The people’s elected representatives are deciding whether or not our state’s marriage law should be re-defined. Our society is engaged in a healthy debate about that now. You and I can continue to engage in that now, if you wish, either via email, phone call, or in person. In fact, I will be meeting with a Palatine man who is in a same sex civil union later this summer (assuming SB10 still hasn’t been decided by then). You and I could also meet individually or as a group to discuss this.

Changing a law like this is not a light matter. Same sex relationships have been around for millenia, obviously, but codifying marriage as a relationship without regard to gender is a shift of enormous proportions. Interracial marriages have been in existence for millenia, too. Though they were temporarily (in the scope of human history) outlawed in certain jurisdictions, the unions were still of man and woman. That’s why I don’t believe it’s appropriate to say SB10 is analogous with interracial marriage laws, by the way.

Just two years ago, in a lame duck session, the legislature passed a civil unions law. You may believe that it was late in coming, or inadequate, or still discriminatory to same sex couples; you and I haven’t discussed those details so I don’t know. During the debate two years ago, however, the sponsors of the civil unions bill stated that marriage was not their end goal. They also stated that religious individuals and organizations would not be affected if the civil unions law was enacted. We discovered in short order that neither was the case. Same sex marriage is under discussion now, and two large religious-based adoption agencies have had their state contracts cancelled due to religious beliefs. That’s why opponents have real concerns about SB10.

[Redacted name], I don’t seek to intentionally offend or be condescending to anyone, and if I was to you it was unintentional, and I genuinely apologize. If this ever happens again, please do not hesitate to contact my staff or me personally, and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

Tom

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


60 Comments
  1. - OneMan - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 9:53 am:

    Wow,
    Where is the line? The thing is if the slippery slope is your argument then logically people shouldn’t be allowed do to most anything because at the end there is something that everyone would find wrong.


  2. - Yossarian Lives - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    Much is made of the “personal touch” in politics; constituents value responses written by the elected officials themselves, and many legislators try to personally answer as many letters as possible (or at least take pains to make sure the responses sound personal). But Rep. Morrison’s response illustrates the value staff members and assistants can bring to the constituent response process. Had a staffer written to this constituent (or had Rep. Morrison run this by anyone before hitting send), I’m guessing his argument would have come out a bit differently.


  3. - Empty Chair - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    This is why G-d invented staff.


  4. - Anon - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    morrison’s response to this just demonstrates how thoughtless the opponents of marriage equality are. just intolerant people who want to impose their beliefs over others and deny loving people the right offered ot other loving people. just pathetic.


  5. - MrJM - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    If my doddering grandfather had said something this stupid, I would be very embarrassed for him.

    I can’t imagine how embarrassing this must be for Rep. MORrisON’s constituents.

    – MrJM


  6. - Liberty_First - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    He makes good points as the polls shift from immoral to civil rights. Egalitarians can’t seem to understand the implication of values clarification even as they teach it.


  7. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 9:57 am:

    thank you to the constituent for sharing and thank you Rich for printing. but for the light of day this kind of thing is allowed to exist without question. makes me think that when I travel to Palatine I must wonder if I’m crossing into, oh, say, South Carolina.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:03 am:

    ===he said, but also claimed that he was being unfairly singled out.===

    I don’t think you have be unfairly singled out, heck, you weren’t on my radar until that DOPEY mailer was brought to my attention here … and that comical, dopey, “where do we end this”, … sorry, “thoughtful” … email response was posted here …

    I guess you ARE on my radar now …

    At least you aren’t saying …

    “It’s not about the STATUTORY RAPE OF A CHILD … it’s more about ‘Adam and Steve’ not ‘Adam and Eve’! …”

    Rep. Morroson. Thank you!!!!

    Thank you SO MUCH for making My Party more insanely DOPEY that I didn’t think was possible.

    Everybody regrets … statutory RAPE… comparisons.

    Once I read ALL about Rep. Morrison, I will respond. These are just the thoughts swirling in my head that someone in My Party …”regrets”… the comparison …

    “This is an attempt to make me look like a bad guy. It’s an effort to paint me in the worst possible light. It’s an attempt to assassinate my character.”

    Play that “victim” card … is THAT how it works … the statutory rape comparison … THAT victim you belittled… or your Litmus Test … is that the victim too?

    I didn’t send that mailer out. You did … and YOU … are the victim!!”

    Love, love … LOVE …that you “signed” the email …”Tom”…

    Are. You. Serious???

    You go all “informal” … for your …”regettable” … comparison? Really?

    D O P E!!!


  9. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:03 am:

    Rep. Morrison is right — Illinois is not Saudi Arabia.

    There, homosexuality is a crime, with punishments ranging from flogging to prison to death.

    It used to be a crime in the United States, too.

    I’m quite certain we’re not headed in the direction of Saudi when it comes to human rights, whether it’s women, children or gay people.

    But nice straw man.

    Is it possible that a state representative was not familiar with the age of consent?


  10. - Wensicia - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:05 am:

    Dear Tom,

    Please remove me from your e-mail address book.

    [Redacted]


  11. - really? - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:07 am:

    Anon - based on your statement can you then understand the concerns of the opposing view?


  12. - ChicagoR - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:09 am:

    How is forwarding his own words “an attempt to assassinate my character”? Isn’t it just accurately representing his character, only to a larger audience?


  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Your next Democratic opponent sincerely thanks you for this piece of literature which can figure prominently in his/her own campaign literature.


  14. - Old Timer - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:13 am:

    I think he is absolutely correct…where DO you draw the line on “equality”? What’s “good for the goose” should be also “good for the gander”.


  15. - HaroldVK - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:14 am:

    “This is an attempt to make me look like a bad guy.”

    No, you did the job pretty well yourself.


  16. - walkinfool - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:14 am:

    Give credit to Morrison for answering all inquiries and owning up to what he actually believes. Regardless of whether we agree, he shows personal integrity. This makes it easier for voters to make their choices. To ask for staffers to hide such beliefs in order for him to stay in office would be a disservice to his constituents.

    His family was instrumental in founding the Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, I believe, and his thinking shouldn’t be a surprise. He is the person local Tea Partiers supported and the voters elected. Perhaps they will now be more fully informed.

    It’s unlikely Morrison reflects the thinking of the average constituent in his district. It’s all about voter turnout on a given day.


  17. - Wensicia - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:17 am:

    “This is an attempt to make me look like a bad guy. It’s an effort to paint me in the worst possible light. It’s an attempt to assassinate my character.”

    Why do opponents of gay marriage always claim they’re the true victims of injustice?


  18. - ChicagoR - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:17 am:

    ‘What’s “good for the goose” should be also “good for the gander”.’

    That’s exactly what the marriage equality movement has been advocating. Let’s treat consenting, unreleated adult couples the same.


  19. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:20 am:

    What a piece of work. Quoting a politician is character assassination now?

    Also Tom, Illinois has been tinkering with gendered distinctions in marriage since at least the 1860s and the married womens property and earnings acts. So I guess you need to add myra bradwell to your curses for redefining marriage and removing gender distinctions among parties to marriage!


  20. - Boone's is Back - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    This guy is my parents’ state rep. Suzi Bassi would have never written something this stupid to a constituent. His crazy, right wing christian stuff does not play in the northwest burbs. I sincerely hope he gets primaried- or better- beat in the general.


  21. - Snucka - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:25 am:

    He is correct in stating that there are restrictions on who can marry, just as there are statutes defining who can legally drink, consent to sexual activity, drive a car, etc. Those limits are open to debate and have changed from time to time over the years. Some even differ from state to state today. If someone wants to argue for “polyamory”, we can have that conversation as well. Allowing gays to marry is a separate issue and in no way aids the arguments for polygamy, child rape or anything else.


  22. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:28 am:

    Anonymous, no way the GOP loses that district.


  23. - Just Observing - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:38 am:

    === Rep. Morrison is right — Illinois is not Saudi Arabia. There, homosexuality is a crime, with punishments ranging from flogging to prison to death. It used to be a crime in the United States, too. ===

    I think… in many states, homosexual acts (e.g. sodomy) are still technically illegal… not that anyone gets prosecuted for it nowadays.


  24. - Waldi - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    I sent an email to Representative Morrison a month or so ago (I’m in his district) urging him to support SSM in Illinois. Here is the response I got via email:

    Dear [Redacted],

    Is there any type sexual orientation that you would consider limiting from marriage? You suggest that all of our citizens deserve the equal right to marriage, however, some of our citizens have sexual orientations that are considered taboo. At least, they are considered taboo now.

    If sexual orientation is a civil right, then we’re going to have to undo a lot of our laws on the books while we’re at re-writing the definition of marriage. Is exhibitionism a civil right? Is bestiality a civil right? Is voyeurism a civil right? Is telephone scatologia a civil right? Is necrophilia a civil right? Do you believe society has any reason to discriminate against any of these or other sexual orientations? If yes, why? If not, why not?

    Sincerely,

    Tom Morrison
    State Representative - District 54


  25. - walkinfool - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:40 am:

    ==no way GOP loses that district==

    Correct, Rich, at least for now.

    Many underestimate how extremely conservative some suburban areas of Cook County are. That’s one reason the national Tea Party Convention was held in the NW suburbs of Chicago.


  26. - ??? - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:42 am:

    Oswego, what is up with all the ellipses??


  27. - jaranath - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    Wow. This is textbook. He’s got the “well what about polygamy and pedophilia?!?” cry (minor points off for not adding bestiality to the list). He’s got the panicked, fumbling notpology, claiming he “misspoke” while repeating precisely the same statements he made earlier. He’s got the rapid switch to a persecution mentality, claiming criticism of his plainly stated ideas is character assassination. He’s got the arguments that “majority rules” should apply to basic human rights and that (to quote Tim Minchin) because ideas are tenacious, they’re worthy. He’s got the complete failure to comprehend the parallels with miscegenation laws (bonus points for saying he thinks they’re different because they were still about heterosexual marriages).

    Study it well, kids. You’ll be able to tell your grandkids you were there when.

    ChicagoR and hisgirlfriday:

    Yes, of course it’s character assassination to quote political figures! Just ask Bradlee Dean; he’s been suing various media outlets for slander, for the horrible crime of reprinting his own statements. I kid you not. This (the whining, not the slander suits…most of them aren’t QUITE as dumb as Dean) is quite common among politicians and public figures who are taking heat for being themselves. We’re seeing it a lot on the Right these days, but it’s a natural human reaction. Remember: Almost no one is the villain of their own story, so you can get some pretty hilarious antics when they begin to realize that’s the role they’re playing.


  28. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    Wow tea party wing nuts are having bad day. First this and then they vote block a bill that will lead to a cut in the fat cat, no show salaries handed oout in DuPage County Forest Preserve District.(HB2377) Teapotters Ives & Morrison really blow it on this one


  29. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:47 am:

    Jotting some thoughts …

    When I get the final draft for you to grade on my FORM, please go easy, it’s Friday.


  30. - ChicagoR - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:48 am:

    He keeps digging that hole deeper. Telephone scatalogia?


  31. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:49 am:

    That is the old stomping ground of Bernie Petersen. Democrats have no chance …


  32. - MrJM - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    I think… in many states, homosexual acts (e.g. sodomy) are still technically illegal… not that anyone gets prosecuted for it nowadays.

    False.

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/02-102.ZS.html

    – MrJM


  33. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    He does, however, make one decent point concerning the limitations placed on marraige.

    There are many people engaged in long term, committed relationships involving three or more people. This is often in accordance with their personal religious beliefs, and it is not limited to America.

    If it is not appropriate to limit marriage to one man and one woman, then it is not appropriate to limit marriage to one person and one person.

    Who are we to tell them their love and commmitment is not real? Especially if they have been living together and making it work for 20 or 30 years.

    The arguments against limiting marriage to a man and a woman apply equally against limiting marriage to one person and one person.


  34. - HaroldVK - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:03 am:

    Formerly,

    Not every distinction is discrimination.

    Government recognition of marriage has some consequences that make sense for two people but that would be difficult for more than two.
    For instance, medical consent. When you have a marriage of two, the one spouse can make a decision.

    If three are involved, who makes the decision? The laws around marriage do not provide the answer.

    Marriage recognizes a relationship between two consenting adults, and imposes uniform rules on those two. Marriage currently does not have a system in place for more than two.

    As such, going beyond two is not discrimination. It is simply a recognition that we have certain rules for two, and do not have rules in place for more than two.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    ===”Could a man marry a consenting 9 year old girl? Why not?”===

    How cute! Considering the statutory rape laws… I have yet to hear anyone … and Rep. Harrison, please, point out which lobbyist, which “group” is advocating a MINOR can consent to be married. I know of groups advocating SSM, but I keep looking and looking for those advocates of consenting 9 year old girls. Nope, I can’t find any.

    So, when you decided to respond, and use a 9 year old girl, and now that is …”regrettable”… what do you regret? That you are unaware of statutory rape laws? Do you regret that some might think you beieve the time has come for 9 year old GILRS to marry is here and you, Rep. Morrison, are here to stop what is already considered Rape?

    What do you find …”regretable”?

    See, as a Republican, I have to explain the “Slytherin House” wing of Pure Bloods and their thoughts so more people don’t leave the Party, when I am asked, “Why are you in the GOP so intolerant”.

    So what do I say?

    “Well, Rep. Morrison believes statutory rape is on the horizon, so thank goodness Rep. Morrison will be voting ‘no’ on SSM”

    Is that right, or is there another way to explain it so I look less like a Fool?

    Let us look at another passage.

    ===I don’t seek to intentionally offend or be condescending to anyone, and if I was to you it was unintentional, and I genuinely apologize.===

    “If I was to you …”

    Either you are a buffoon, ignorant, or continuing the condesending.

    You were TOLD you offended …told . Do you NOT understand that you DID OFFEND? You did. That is NOT in question, but I guess you are unclear, even when a reporter tells you. Seriously?

    You remind me of someone who really doesn’t WANT to apologize, but HAS TO so they say what YOU say, putting the “blame” on them for being offended? Is that how it works?

    ===he said, but also claimed that he was being unfairly singled out.===

    ===”This is an attempt to make me look like a bad guy. It’s an effort to paint me in the worst possible light. It’s an attempt to assassinate my character.” ===

    Your ego must be so inflated, thank goodness, they have huge double-doors to enter the House chamber, Rep. Morrison.

    You, in your OWN words, untwisted, make this all about how YOU are being treated.

    You.

    You readily admit you sent it. You found it “regrettable”, and yet, … YOU … are the victim, right? Let me know when we all are suppose to feel sorry for you.

    My Party is saddled with Litmus Testers and Blood Oathers who fail to recognize the Reagan Rule of 80%, now I have to “deal” with Rep. Morrison and others like him who are not only unwelcoming, (which I could live with if I didn’t have to deal with Rep. Morrison thinking those in favor of something like SSM as advocates of statutory rape), but then feel THEIR character is being assassinated, and then they are not calling those in favor of SSM pedophiles?

    But, Rep. Morrison is the victim, my party has NO ROOM for the Reagan Rule because if you follow the Reagan Rule of 80% in SSM, you may be considering pedophilia…

    ===I don’t seek to intentionally offend or be condescending to anyone, and if I was to you it was unintentional, and I genuinely apologize.===

    If …IF…If I was to you …

    That is all you need to know about Rep. Morrison when it comes to understanding this issue, and explaining his position, when its not “regrettable”.

    “If”.


  36. - Empty Chair - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    If he was smart, he would send an email out raising money off this story/event. Who cares if the character assassination charge sticks, the right loves a guy sticking up for their values in the face of a liberal media/elite. Send a blast email Tommy!

    Again, this is why G-d invented staff.


  37. - Snucka - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:14 am:

    —If it is not appropriate to limit marriage to one man and one woman, then it is not appropriate to limit marriage to one person and one person.—

    Not sure I am seeing the “if, then” connection. If you want to argue in favor of polygamy, you should do so on the merits of polygamy– not simply drawing an imagined equivalency between same-sex couples and polygamous relationships.


  38. - Rahm's Parking Meter - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:17 am:

    Paging a Rita Mullins primary challenge. The district may not elect a Democrat, but the district certainly can elect a less bigoted Republican.


  39. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    @formerlyknownas - 1) many decadeslong polyamorous relationships? Name one besides the family in big love. 2) the distinction between samesex marriage and bigamy is clear if you think of the way that civil marriage works as a contract. A minor or an already married person has no capacity to enter into a marriage contract. The minor cannot accept because of not having the legal age to contract. The already married cannot accept because of already being contracted, the same way jay cutler has no authority to accept a contract to play for the packers while he’s under contract to the bears.
    But a 18+, unmarried gay person has the capacity to marry and Illinois law is limiting their ability to contract with who they want solely based on gender even though illinois eliminated gender distinctions with the married womens property act and earnings act.


  40. - OldSmoky2 - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:19 am:

    Rep. Morrison said that “two large religious-based adoption agencies have had their state contracts cancelled due to religious beliefs.”
    He’s wrong. Their contracts were not renewed because they wanted to continue to receive state funding meant to provide services to all Illinoisans, straight and gay, but wanted to do so while refusing to serve gay citizens. It’s simple. If you want state money to operate your business, then you have to follow state laws prohibiting discrimination. If you don’t want to do that, fine. You are still welcome to hold and follow any religious beliefs you want to, but the state’s not going to fund you if you don’t want to follow the rules that are inherent in that funding.


  41. - ChrisB - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    As someone who majored in Political Science, I absolutely detest the slippery slope argument. Inevitably, some moron would make it in class because they didn’t do the reading and totally derail the discussion with their absurd false equivalences. It’s the lazy person’s argument against everything.

    Screw moderation man, if we allow (X) then civilization as we know it might collapse.

    Really? That’s the best you got? Go back to the drawing board, buddy. This isn’t some Ethics of Law class you can BS your way through.


  42. - Mongo - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:25 am:

    Hey, JO…a little Friday fun…sodomy isn’t just acts between a man and a man. And MrJM, thanks for the Texas citation above (gee, of all states, I’m surprised it was Texas). This is a good illustration of the evolution of this “crime”.

    Check out: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sodomy

    To the post, way to go NAACP. This is mission-centered, and the right decision.


  43. - hawksfan - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:28 am:

    Thousands of emails a day? I doubt that.


  44. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    “Rock and Roll will lead to violence”.

    “Marijuana will lead to more dangerous drugs.”

    “you know what will lead to blindness.”

    “SSM will lead to pedophilia.”

    Thank goodness for the folks whom are concerned about our well being. NOT!


  45. - Hans Sanity - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    HaroldVK –

    In a global marriage any decision requiring medical consensus could be reached by discussion and/or committee.

    Everyone is covered by the family health insurance plan.

    No one marries before the age of 18. The life partner(s) choice is personal.

    We’re still working on the global divorce problem, but believe an ambiguous defining of “life” when referencing “life partner(s)” will provide a workable arrangement.


  46. - Just Me - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    I wonder if the House Democrats allow their Members to answer constituent e-mail without going through staff first. It is just like an ultra-conservative to think they’re right and everyone else is wrong all the time. The ultra-liberals probably feel the same way, but the Issues staff prevents them from showing it.


  47. - 47th Ward - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:49 am:

    ===The arguments against limiting marriage to a man and a woman apply equally against limiting marriage to one person and one person.===

    Umm, no they don’t. Plural marriages would require a complete rewrite of the tax code to determine how and who can file as married filing jointly. Divorce laws would need to be amended, including custody and property rights. What if I want to divorce one of my wives, but my other wives don’t want to divorce the other?

    The civil, legal understanding of marriage is a two-party, mutually agreed contract. To argue for polygamy you are truly trying to redefine marriage.

    Providing for same sex civil marriage brings none of the extra legal issues to the table. The polygamy argument is ignorant and tiresome.


  48. - ChicagoR - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:51 am:

    Jaranath: Thanks for the awesome Tim Minchin reference. (That’s my favorite Christmas song.) If this marriage equality thing leads to polyamorous marriage as Morrison seems to suggest, I wanna marry you right after I marry my partner.


  49. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    ==This is an attempt to make me look like a bad guy. It’s an effort to paint me in the worst possible light. It’s an attempt to assassinate my character.” ==

    I think the Representative did a good job of doing that to himself. What is wrong with these people? Can they not be against something without being hateful and irrational? I can’t stand people that automatically go to the pedophilia thing. It’s offensive. He should be ashamed of himself.

    +++++++++++++++++

    @Just Observing:

    I thought the Supreme Court invalidated sodomy laws. And I don’t think these laws had anything to do with homosexuality when they were passed. These laws are as old as dirt.


  50. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    In fairness, his scenario of an adult marrying a consenting 9 year old is a bit extreme but it’s not patently absurd. It’s only statutory rape or pedophilia because we define it as such. 18 isn’t some magical age at which all decisions suddenly become fully informed. Many might argue the age might be 21 or older while just as many might argue 17, 16, or even earlier that SOME people can give consent (and, indeed, some societies around the world allow earlier ages). He picked 9 but he could have just as easily said 16 which would still be statutory rape but is a reasonable question as to why a 16 year old cannot marry a 19 year old (or whatever age difference the law currently prevents without parental/judge consent, I’ve never been up on it). So I don’t fault his question, I think it just requires a response to explain why SSM is not a gateway drug to 9 year old marriage.

    I think the fair response to his question is that because science has not yet provided us a way to objectively measure one’s ability to consent, an age is selected by our elected representatives by which the vast majority of people are believed to be capable of providing consent. The incidence of inability to fully consent is considered too great at 17 with the risk there being someone being taken advantage of sexually. The improvement in the ability to fully consent by 19 is considered too small to warrant the intrusion into personal freedoms. Both it is a wholly subjective date based upon current societal opinion and may indeed change at times.

    A counterargument is should the ban on black voters have been left in place because otherwise we’d have 9 year olds voting. So I don’t fault his assertion that some changes to marriage can have a subjective element to them which opens them up to being a slippery slope. I do fault his logic that SSM would lead to extreme revision of the age of consent.


  51. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 12:05 pm:

    Let’s move the polygamy discussion to a separate post I just created: http://capitolfax.com/2013/04/12/about-that-polygamy-argument/.

    Thanks.


  52. - jaranath - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 12:06 pm:

    ChicagoR:

    I’m honored! :)


  53. - Juvenal - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    Wake up, people. Society is redefining marriage every day. That’s neither radical nor bad.

    The Violence Against Women Act wasn’t passed until 1994, the FIRST federal law that said it wasn’t okay for husbands to beat their wives.

    Those who yearn for the good ole days have short memories.


  54. - Hans Sanity (aka, Kasich Walker, Jr.) - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    Putting gay marriage and polygamy aside, anyone know if there is much variation in how IL State legislators handle incoming responses from constituents?

    When I ask legislators where they stand on an issue or how they will vote on a bill, I don’t need a treatise, but there is nothing wrong with some other type of response: a short note or e-message or call from a staffer.

    Does no response always mean they disagree with you?


  55. - Devices - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 1:20 pm:

    So the Proft Caucus in the IL House (morrison and Ives) has totally stepped on themselves when addressing SSM. And proft wants to give everyone advice on how to message???? No thanks.


  56. - Just Observing - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 1:34 pm:

    === Hey, JO…a little Friday fun…sodomy isn’t just acts between a man and a man. ===

    @Mongo — Ha… ya, I’m aware. I assumed the anti-sodomy laws were anti-homosexual laws, not pro-procreation laws as the SCOTUS decision referenced above states.


  57. - Just Observing - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 1:40 pm:

    Seemingly though, many states still have anti-sodomy laws on the books (despite the SCOTUS decision) and some claim that the laws are still selectively although rarely enforced:

    http://theweek.com/article/index/242412/why-do-so-many-states-still-have-anti-sodomy-laws


  58. - Yossarian Lives - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    No response can mean a variety of things:

    - The legislator disagrees with you and can’t think of a nice way to put it (or just doesn’t think it’s worth communicating with you because the disagreement is so complete and you’re not part of a major constituent group).
    - The legislator does not have an effective method of dealing with large numbers of constituent emails and/or has incompetent staff.
    - The legislator insists on replying to all correspondence personally, but he or she physically can’t do that, and your email or letter ended up at the bottom of the pile.
    - Your message somehow slipped through the cracks.

    A good elected official with a competent staff will manage to respond to every inquiry or comment (at least every one from an actual constituent) in some way. You may get a personal response (either from the member himself or herself or from a staffer), particularly if you write about an issue that 900 other people haven’t already written about. You’re more likely to get a personalized and helpful response if you don’t use a form letter you got from a lobbying group, if you include an example of how the legislation or issue affects you personally as a constituent and if you provide as many details (such as the bill number and your precise reason for supporting or opposing it) as possible.

    If you send a form letter or write vaguely about a large issue (like pensions), you are much more likely to get a generic response (”Thank you for contacting me. I value the opinions of all my constituents,” etc.) or at least a form response about that issue that doesn’t necessarily address your real questions.

    I am not aware of any staffers who call constituents who write to their legislators, except on matters that require constituent service follow-up. It would be time-consuming to call up everyone who asks a senator or rep to vote for, say, same-sex marriage and let them all know, “Yes, the senator voted for marriage equality.”


  59. - walkinfool - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 3:14 pm:

    ===I wonder if House Dems allow their Members to answer constituent e-mail without going thru staff first===

    Yes they do.


  60. - Hans Sannity - Friday, Apr 12, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Yo — thanks for the analysis.

    Perhaps I’ll contact my IL legislators to ask them to consider presenting a drop down section at their sites where they could present brief (twitter length, when possible) public responses to constituent requests for positions.

    Major Major may be a good nickname here, too.


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