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A big surprise in the wake of DOMA ruling

Thursday, Jun 27, 2013

* The Sun-Times has an excellent roundup of the US Supreme Court DOMA ruling’s impact on Illinois, including this

Wednesday’s court rulings brought signs of some movement, including within the 20-member House Black Caucus. At the end of May, only five lawmakers in the caucus had publicly committed to voting in favor of the same-sex marriage bill.

State Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago), a vocal critic of Harris’ plan, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she now is “much more inclined” to vote for it because gay couples in other states will now have access to federal benefits but those in Illinois will not.

“I don’t want to hurt their Social Security,” Davis said. “Surely you cannot have people in one state getting Social Security and have people in another who do not. That cannot go.”

Rep. Monique Davis was a harsh, harsh critic of gay marriage. For instance

Asked if the same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue, Davis didn’t bat an eye.

“Have they ever hung from trees?” she asked. “Were they ever slaves for 500 years, then I don’t think so. I don’t think [the issues are] equal … Simple as that.”

So, obviously, a position change by her would be huge.

* Rep. Ken Dunkin makes a valid point

“Part of the big challenge with the gay community on this issue is that it’s seen as a white issue,” Dunkin said, adding that activists have yet to create a program to help educate lawmakers and the African-American community about why same-sex marriage is a valid issue.

* Windy City Times

Many felt the [black] caucus was taken for granted, with two lobbyists hired in the final 48 hours to target Black lawmakers.

Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Community Services, also said that Black LGBT leaders were not called on to aide in outreach to Black representatives.

“We could have been educating and mobilizing our constituents,” said Hunt. “We did have some constituents that we knew of that were very interested in going to Springfield. We don’t have the resources for that. There could have been things that we could have done in the Black press, which we tried to do a little bit … but it wasn’t part of a larger strategy. It was just us stepping in because we weren’t seeing anything visible in terms of support marriage equality.”

Hunt and O’Connor were among a group of Black LGBTs to travel to the capitol independent of the coalition to lobby lawmakers.

The lack of African-American outreach in the House and in the districts has been a stupendous failure.

* Related…

* State Sen. Cullerton talks marriage progress in Illinois

* Choking back tears, Tunney urges Il. House to “get its act together” on gay marriage

* Same-sex marriage advocates in Illinois see court ruling as a boost for their cause

* No clear direction on gay marriage in Illinois after court ruling

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  1. - Esquire - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    Solely a “white” issue? Maybe Representative Dunkin needs to educate himself by reading some public health reports and statistics on the communities that are considered most at risk for HIV and other STDs. There are gay blacks, but perhaps they are more closeted.


  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 11:56 am:

    Esquire, he didn’t say this was “solely” a white issue, he said “it’s seen as a white issue.” Try reading what is written, not what you want to see. It really helps discussion.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:02 pm:

    This ruling gives the “cover” and some of the AA Caucus members are going to take it. Smart politics.

    Speaking of smart politics, as other members of the General Assembly are rethinking … how is that HGOP Caucus handling this? Still at 2 Votes? 3? 1? …

    Nothing like making the GOP look even more intolerant than making sure when this vote does happen, we get as few GOP members on board, the DOMA ruling notwithstanding….


  4. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:07 pm:

    Well, they have been beaten, tied to a fence and left to die: Matthew Shepard, 1998, Laramie, Wyoming.


  5. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:10 pm:

    Madigan took some real heat from the LGBT community yesterday.

    If they start building momentum among the AA community, he’ll have even less cover should this fail to pass during the year.


  6. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Does Justice Kennedy give any cover to GOP members? He’s not exactly a bomb-throwing Bolshevik.

    He wrote quite a stirring opinion, especially in regards to children.

    DOMA, he wrote, “humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples. The law in question makes it even more difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family and its concord with other families in their community and in their daily lives.”


  7. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:22 pm:

    ===Madigan took some real heat from the LGBT community yesterday.===

    Not sure I saw that, except maybe on a few Facebook pages.


  8. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:23 pm:

    Davis goes from

    === “Were they ever slaves for 500 years, then I don’t think so. I don’t think [the issues are] equal” ===

    to

    === “I don’t want to hurt their Social Security” ===

    ? ? ?

    It’s not a civil rights issue, but a social security payment issue?

    That’s what may sway her stance on this?

    A big surprise, indeed.


  9. - too obvious - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Anyone can see the final loose ends will soon be wrapped up on this issue. 5 yrs from now will only be a small handful of southern states which don’t recognize gay marriage.

    And if we get a couple of new supremes, they could decide it for the whole country, e.g. rule it’s a civil right. Just a matter of time.


  10. - Esquire - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:31 pm:

    @Rich: Parse it any way you like.

    If it is “seen” as a “white issue,” Dunkin is in some form of denial. Reality is what it is. The Chicago Police assigned to the Town Hall district could share different facts with Dunkin and his colleagues.


  11. - Esquire - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:32 pm:

    To be clear, I mean the situation is multicultural.


  12. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:35 pm:

    @Rich - I just reviewed some of those quotes from yesterday and note your point. Many of them did a good job directing their fire at the House rather than strictly the Speaker.

    “It’s crystal clear now that by failing to act the House denied gay and lesbian couples equal access…”; “The Illinois House of Representatives must act as soon as possible.”; so on and so forth.

    I recall some of those earlier posts around the close of session quoting activists upset with Madigan (and even Harris, who worked his tail off) and perhaps read an extra level into yesterday’s comments.

    Or perhaps “House” and “Madigan” have become synonymous in my mind. I hear a criticism of the House and relate it to a criticism of Madigan after all these years.

    Good catch.


  13. - soccermom - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    I think Rep. Dunkin is signaling to the advocates that he needs their input to make a strong case to his constituents. Obviously this is a huge issue for every community, and it could represent a teachable moment if handled astutely.


  14. - horse w/ no name - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 12:58 pm:

    I know better than to step to the defense of Monique Davis. I’ll let her speak for herself. I will say that I thought there was some misconception about her’s and other comments on this. I think some black politicians, particularly of an older generation didn’t like that there was a narrative equating gay rights to civil rights for african americans. And to be fair, they are somewhat different issues, with different histories and different communities. Civil Rights is hallowed ground for many a black lawmaker and community leader and they are protective of where and how that history is used in political debate. For the record, I fully support gay marriage and think most black lawmakers do too.


  15. - Palos Park Bob - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 1:13 pm:

    ===State Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago) told the Chicago Sun-Times that she now is “much more inclined” to vote for it because gay couples in other states will now have access to federal benefits but those in Illinois will not.===

    So when it was a matter of morality and fairness, she opposed gay marriage, but when the issue became creating a new entitlement class, she was “more inclined” to support it.

    If ever there was a better illustration of the Dem party in Illinois’ priorities…ignore principle and move based on money and political advantage from “giveaways”, I’ve yet to see it!


  16. - Colossus - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    @Palos Park Bob -

    Yes, that automatically makes Sarah Palin president and will require all known democrats to wear pink triangles on their clothes.

    Thanks for contributing, you opened my eyes.


  17. - Plutocrat03 - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 1:28 pm:

    “Were they ever slaves for 500 years”

    Neither has anyone else. Rep. Davis needs some remedial history lessons. Slavery is believed to have started not long after the invention of agriculture which was near 11,000 years ago. All populated portions of the world participated in slavery to one degree or another . Europe, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Pacific Islanders have a shared, sordid history in that regard. Doe to the wide geographic dispersal of slavery, all races and religious faiths have suffered from that practice.

    Furthermore slavery is a common practice today in large parts of the world. There should be more outrage about that.

    The US is around 237 years old. A major conflict raged about many things, including slavery, so that the largest part of slavery has been outlawed for nearly 150 years. Slavery in the US (as traditionally defined) existed legally for less than half the age of the country.

    Clearly the Rep. has no clue to the discrimination that gay individuals have endured in the past and still do today. Death is a common consequence of being outed in some parts of the world.


  18. - Anon. - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 1:32 pm:

    Does anyone seriously believe that civil union partners are not entitled to the same Social Security and other federal benefits as married partners? The IRS (at least) has stated that opposite-sex civil union partners are spouses, so only DOMA prevented same-sex partners from being treated as spouses. The Obama administration would not even defend DOMA, so what makes anyone think they will now say “That’s not a marriage, it’s a civil union, so you’re not a spouse”?


  19. - Shore - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 1:58 pm:

    “”Asked if the same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue, Davis didn’t bat an eye.
    “Have they ever hung from trees?” she asked. “Were they ever slaves for 500 years, then I don’t think so. I don’t think [the issues are] equal … Simple as that.””"

    -I’m white but one of the problems with the chicago media is that most of the faces are also white and older and so there are few columnists (I’m leaving out tv people because aside from flannery they’re not serious)-especially under 55 who can call out this kind of bs and take on these issues from the perspective of the african american community. We only see/read/hear from northside/suburban white guys (zorn, steinberg ect) and so there’s no one to offer an alternative to this.


  20. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 3:03 pm:

    - a new entitlement class -

    Wait, so marriage equates to an entitlement class? You married Bob? If so, as a single person I’m disgusted by takers like you.

    Furthermore, I thought marriage was some kind of sacred institution bestowed by God, how can you cheapen it by calling it an entitlement?

    You right wingers need to get your story straight, or maybe get your head checked.


  21. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jun 27, 13 @ 3:27 pm:

    The perfect CYA opportunity has been given: “Yes, I stand for traditional marriage but the SC has redefined equality and, while I wholeheartedly disagree, I will respect the the courts interpretation, for now.”


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