SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Boo the opposition, not your friends

Friday, Jun 28, 2013

* My Sun-Times column

If you’re heading to the Pride Parade this weekend, you might be tempted to boo some of the state politicians who’ll be marching.

If you want to boo them for screwing up the state’s finances, then go right ahead.

But don’t jeer because the marriage equality bill failed to pass the General Assembly.

First of all, the people who stopped the marriage bill won’t even be at the parade, let alone marching in it. The politicians marching in front of you on Sunday are on your side. They support marriage equality or they wouldn’t be there.

The Illinois Senate passed the gay marriage bill by a wide margin back in February, so there’s no need to boo any marching state senators. The bill came up short in the House, and while mistakes were surely made, those to blame are the state representatives who opposed the bill, not the people who supported it.

And don’t buy into the bizarre hype that the bill might’ve passed had it been called for a vote in the House. It wasn’t gonna happen. The roll call was going the other way fast by the end of the spring session.

There are just so many rumors about this bill. Almost none of them are true, and most have been spread by well-intentioned folks with little to no experience differentiating idle Statehouse gossip from fact.

For instance, the rumor mill was rampant about a vote occurring on May 30, the day before the session ended. But the truth is that the bill lost crucial momentum a few days before when it became known that a prominent House Republican who’d been leaning toward voting “Yes” had switched to a firm “No.” It was the first time that the supporters publicly lost a backer, but it wouldn’t be the last.

The groups supporting the marriage bill hadn’t bothered to do any real ground work in African-American districts, so some initially sympathetic black legislators found themselves targets of a ferocious and well-funded counterattack from their churches. The pro-marriage equality groups didn’t even hire any House-affiliated black lobbyists until the last two days, but by then it was just way too late.

Look, plenty of mistakes were made on this bill. But nobody made those mistakes out of malice.

The attacks on the bill’s House sponsor, state Rep. Greg Harris, are particularly out of line. Nobody, and I mean nobody, wanted that bill to pass more than Harris did. He is widely respected as a competent legislator. But the Statehouse game is a lot like baseball. No one has a perfect batting average.

House Speaker Michael Madigan made some crucial errors, for sure. The vote probably should’ve been held much earlier in the session, before the opposition ramped up. But an honest person cannot tell you for sure that it would’ve passed back then. And, besides, I kinda doubt Madigan will be at the parade.

Gov. Pat Quinn claimed in early May that the bill had enough votes to pass, but his headcount was discovered to be bogus. His was just another false rumor which ultimately helped poison the well. Despite his bungles, Quinn means well on this issue, too. No sense in booing him.

If you want to heckle somebody, then pile some friends in a van and head to a parade in a House district represented by somebody who opposes gay marriage. That probably won’t do a lot of good, either, but at least the anger will be properly focused.

* Meanwhile, Senate President John Cullerton wants people to know that he’s not the problem

State Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) told the Sun-Times on Thursday that he was willing to call same-sex marriage for a vote — for a second time — if that meant it would boost momentum in the Illinois House.

“Inaction is in the House,” he said when asked whether the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling would spur action in Springfield. The state Senate passed same-sex marriage on Valentine’s Day. But the House adjourned on May 31 without calling the measure for a vote.

`”I am working with the House sponsor to see if there’s anything that I can do,” Cullerton told the Sun-Times, who caught up with the lawmaker after a City Club of Chicago luncheon where David Axelrod headlined. “If they want us to repass the bill which would require another vote in the Senate with a changed effective date. If that would help, we’d be more than happy to try to do that.” […]

“Usually the second chamber, it’s easier to vote for a bill because your senator has already voted for it. A lot of people have said we’ll wait to see what the U.S. Supreme Court, well they’ve acted. This is such an inevitability, figure it out guys. Let’s get this done.”

* New York Times

Gay rights groups say they think the votes are there for a win at a brief legislative session this fall.

Maybe. Maybe sooner. Maybe later. But I still don’t think that this thing will get a vote in the veto session, which would be during the candidate filing process.

* Related…

* Mark Brown: Illinois needs to finish what Supreme Court started: What was really going on was that Republican strategists had identified the threat of gay marriage as a wedge issue that could be used to motivate conservative voters to come out more strongly in that November’s national election. Democrats meekly went along to blunt the impact. The Illinois bill’s chief sponsor, a young state senator named Peter Fitzgerald, went so far as to close the debate with a story about a third-grade boy adopted by two gay men. “Every day this boy is dropped off at school by his parents, and the other kids make fun of him. And he’s constantly crying. He’s in the principal’s office. He’s constantly fighting,” Fitzgerald said disapprovingly, offering his story as an argument in favor of further discrimination against gay couples. How wonderful then that the Supreme Court observed quite the opposite in the impact of the Defense of Marriage Act.

* Durbin was for DOMA before he was against it

* Caprio: Congress must decide federal benefits for homosexual couples

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cincinnatus - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 9:01 am:

    Procedural question: If the House were to approve the bill, would the Senate have to vote again because of some change in the effective date, or would the bill move directly to the Governor after a House vote?

  2. - DanL60 - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 9:39 am:

    “Mike Madigan” and “crucial errors” in the same sentence are pretty rare.

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 9:47 am:

    What a weekend for parades. Downtown is packed right now. Raise your Cups!

    There’s plenty to celebrate in the next parade, too, thanks to Justice Kennedy.

    Enjoy that with your friends, and then get back to work on the House. The path might be long and frustrating, but the goal is assured.

  4. - Big Et - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    Wish I knew why my comment got bounced, I followed all the rules for newbies. I guess it was just an improper viewpoint.

  5. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 10:01 am:

    ===I guess it was just an improper viewpoint. ===


  6. - LincolnLounger - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 10:11 am:

    Thanks for the reminder of why I am glad Peter Fitzgerald was a coward who didn’t run for re-election and moved out of state.

  7. - Esquire - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    No real surprise to find US Senator Dick Durbin doing a one hundred and eighty degree turn. He has done the same on other issues and positions throughout his lengthy and mercurial political career.

  8. - Anon - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    Just once I wish the media and bloggers would offer credence to the fact that the Harris bill, as currently drafted, offers NO religious freedoms to people outside of the church itself. No exemptions for parish centers, no exemptions for religious schools, no exemptions for Knight of Columbus Halls, no exemptions for private businesses like bed and breakfasts, photographers, or caterers, and no exemptions for judges or county clerks. They have rights too that should be protected.

  9. - just sayin' - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 11:57 am:

    Quinn- the ONLY speaker to get booed at the Hawks Rally…

  10. - Rod - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 12:20 pm:

    Rich thanks for the supportive comments for Rep Harris, he is my representative and I have known him well before he became a member of the Assembly. Rep Harris’ district has a very significant gay, lesbian, and transgender community along with many straight community members who overwhelmingly support marriage equality.

    There is great frustration with the fact that the bill was not called and limited understanding of the tactical consideration Harris made based on his vote count.

    Among the more politically sophisticated community members there is very little criticism of his failure to call the bill. Among the many members of the community that have jumped on the marriage equality bandwagon in the last year and want a victory party there has been some criticism of Greg. I suspect there is also some frustration among divorce attorneys who are looking forward to new business opportunities.

  11. - FoxValleyPride1 - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    I fully intend to walk shoulder to shoulder with Harris in this year’s Pride Parade. A few days ago, I too, would have expected to hear some boos from the crowd. And I’m not completely naive… I’m sure there will still be a few…. but as someone who watches this issue closely from inside the LGBTQ activist community, I can tell you that Wednesday’s SCOTUS decision has very abruptly changed the mood of the LGBTQ community, and more importantly, it’s changed the focus the community’s activist groups.

    Not long ago, I lamented that the LGBTQ activist community, by publicly putting on their “angry face” was being counter-productive. I argued that nobody was going to be persuaded to join up with people who call their opponents names like “bigot” (no matter how accurate those names may be.) I also said that threatening to hold LMadigan’s campaign hostage to her father’s actions was akin to holding a gun to their own head. Unfortunately, that “angry face” problem had to get worse before it got better.

    But it has gotten better. The focus has finally (and instantly) changed. The SCOTUS decision drew a bright red line between a Federally recognized “marriage” and a Federally unrecognized “civil union.” Legislators, like Stephanie Kifowit, who made once made the case that, while she believes in equality, she also thinks that civil unions have accomplished that, can no longer make any such case. With roughly 1,100 Federal benefits associated marriage, as Governor Quinn said, “Members of the Illinois House now have more than 1,100 new reasons to make marriage equality the law in Illinois.”

    The LGBTQ activist community has now been scrambling for ways to make their legislators aware of those NEW arguments - and that’s a very good thing. Those new arguments may change some minds. The whole poisoned strategy of trying to be united in finding someone to blame - that’s gone. At least for the time being, it’s gone. Hopefully, it’s gone for good.

  12. - Big Et - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 12:44 pm:

    Rich: pretty neat how you can appease a commenter by making it appear that their comment is posted, but only on their own device. Of course it is only right to delete posts you dont like, but to make the commenter think he was posted is dishonest. No need to ban me…I thought this was an honest place, but I’ll have to keep looking.

  13. - Just Me - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 12:55 pm:

    Hey Anon at 11:57 — all of the places you mention are places of public accommodation. If they want to be able to discriminate against certain people, then they shouldn’t be in a public accommodation business. If a government official doesn’t want to follow the law either, then they shouldn’t have run for office.

  14. - ChicagoR - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 1:01 pm:

    Anon, are there exceptions to the other civil rights laws for bed and breakfasts, photographers, or caterers who don’t want to serve blacks or hispanics due to a religious objection? Can clerks refuse to issue marriage licenses to our Jewish friends?

  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Jun 28, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    Watched “Stonewall” again last night on “American Experience.”


    There’s still work to do, but there always is. Celebrate how far we’ve come and keep going!

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Happy Thanksgiving!
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Five unanswered questions
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Question of the day
* Caption contest!
* Crossing the line
* Moody's warns Illinois
* The Credit Union Difference
* *** UPDATED x1 - Franks responds *** Uh-oh
* Then and now
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Samsung’s new Exynos 8890 SoC tops all benchmark results on AnTuTu
* Fossil Q Founder smartwatch listed as ‘coming soon’ on the Google Store
* Verizon ad wants us to disconnect for the holidays
* Samsung wants you to gift Samsung products this Christmas
* The future is now: Transparent aluminum on your phone
* Make your truck driving dreams come true in TruckSimulation 16
* Leaked renders show a rotating camera on the upcoming ZUK Z2

* South Side Sox' SB Nation MLB Awards voting results
* Starting Pitcher Rankings: Chris Sale and Jose Quintana maintain st...
* Scouting profile: Adam Engel
* Alex Avila will try to shed limitations with White Sox
* White Sox program provides kids real chance
* Johnson solid candidate for White Sox rotation
* White Sox sign catcher Avila to one-year deal


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Illinois has taken few Syrians in last 5 years .....

* 3 teens killed in northern Illinois crash
* Springfield micro-lending fund gives $120K in 1st 2 months
* Project searches for pre-1860 farmhouses in Sangamon County
* Illinois community college plans to boost foreign recruiting
* Historic re-enactors gather at former French fort
* Foul play not suspected in death of southern Illinois woman
* Lawyers for Schock say documents handed over to prosecutors
* EXCHANGE: Highland art teachers exhibit works on campus
* Police make arrest in killing of Chicago 9-year-old boy
* Mascoutah burglary victim shot in 1st night at new home

* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Rauner pardons man found innocent of 1999 attack
* Springfield jobless rate falls again, to 5.1 percent
* Springfield police chief sees problems with body cam law
* Lawsuit challenges Illinois ban on marijuana campaign money
* Number of Illinois inmates released on parole climbing
* Bryce Benton circulating petitions to challenge Sen. Sam McCann in GOP primary
* Executive Mansion roof repairs nearing completion

* How a big deal is changing Chicago's hotel market
* Crain's names Danielle Narcisse copy chief
* What's new at Roti? Its name and a national ambition
* State's job woes start on the factory floor
* Illinois biz community getting walloped

* CPS lags in hiring black teachers
* BGA Public Eye: Dolton voters may get shot to recall trustees
* Blackhawks rally for stunning victory with two late goals
* Aaron Schock’s lawyers voluntarily providing records sought by feds
* In wake of dashcam video, Emanuel must navigate political minefield
* White House under holiday lockdown after man jumps fence
* Trevor Daley turning the corner at both ends of the ice
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block Syrian refugees
* Brown: Simeon basketball players bring their A-game to court
* 16 reasons every Blackhawks fan should be thankful on Thanksgiving

* Girl, 14, went missing in West Lawn neighborhood
* 1 killed, 2 wounded in city shootings
* Illinois schools' strengths, weaknesses exposed in statewide survey
* Fiery crash in McHenry County kills three 18-year-olds; bystanders try to free passengers
* Fugitive convicted sex offender arrested in Appleton
* Boston police probing fight involving 76ers center Jahlil Okafor
* One glitch can cause big spike in suburban parking ticket fines
* Woman dead after Dan Ryan crash
* Teen fatally shot in Gary
* Man, woman get themselves to safety after falling into Lake Michigan

* Kristina Rasmussen: Relying on one another, not the government
* Charles Krauthammer: The Syrian immigration cul-de-sac
* Rob Elliott: EPA ethanol ruling affects more than energy policy
* Local free community college plans may be template for U.S.
* Rauner faces challenges in move to block refugees
* Vendor Payment Program suspended due to budget impasse
* Eugene Robinson: The GOP's political correctness dodge
* Douglas Holt: Woman's protest of Trump was misguided, inappropriate
* George Will: Muzzling pet advice another case of free speech erosion
* Bernard Schoenburg: Josh Langfelder took father's advice on election petition signatures

* LIVE! Northwestern
* Plays of the Game - UAB
* Pregame Show Presented by Financial Adviser Paul Ruedi 11-28-15
* Illini, Cubit reach deal
* Fisher fire under investigation
* Champaign woman dies from fire injuries
* Saturday SportsTalk 11-28-15
* Coffee With The Plant Experts 11-28-15
* Game Day Q&A: Safety Clayton Fejedelem
* The story behind the Gordyville antique show

* Burger King manager: Police erased video of Chicago shooting
* More deaths blamed on wintry storm moving through central US
* No. 8 Ohio State tops No. 12 Michigan 42-13 with ground game
* Trump goes after GOP rivals Rubio, Bush in their home state
* Queen Elizabeth II wraps up nostalgic Malta trip

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Durbin Calls on Gov. Rauner to Meet With S......
* Durbin Statement on Pfizer-Allergan Invers......

* Opinion: Sen. Kirk must stand with crimina......

* Tony at the Red Line Tap.
* The cover-up of the killing of Laquan McDonald.
* Keeping retirement weird. Justice is the public face of love.
* RLC Roundup: Drivers Aim Lawsuit At Tinley Park Red Light Cameras
* Dueling pair of children being used to fight for attention of Chicago, world
* No Positive Loitering Tonight
* Fairness.
* It brings out the rats.
* If we are to get Goldman Sachs out of ESEA, we will have to be the ones to do it.
* Black Friday on North Michigan Avenue.

* Emergency Management Officials, National Weather Service Encourage Winter Preparedness - November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month in Illinois
* Keep Your Family Safe This Winter - November through February are leading months for carbon monoxide related incidents
* Governor Takes Bill Action
* Illinois Department of Labor Director Hugo Chaviano Awards Governor’s Award for Contributions in Health and Safety to the Illinois Refining Division of Marathon Petroleum Company LP
* State Regulator Elected Treasurer of Interstate Medical Licensure Compact

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller