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“You are not valued here”

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013

* Crain’s political columnist and blogger Greg Hinz is a gay man with a longtime partner and an adopted son. He’s mostly sidelined himself on the gay marriage bill, but broke his silence with a column this week. You should go read the whole thing, but this was his rationale for speaking out in his particular publication

(F)or those who might think that gay marriage is an odd subject for commentary in a business publication, I point you to what company after company has said in moving or expanding in Chicago: talent counts. And to the extent that legal gay marriage is the norm not only on the coasts but in the heartland states of Minnesota and Iowa, the message that’s going out to some talent is: Don’t come to Illinois. You are not valued here.

And if you think that we as a state might be sending the wrong messages because the House can’t yet find the votes to pass the gay marriage bill, what does it say when two viable Republican gubernatorial candidates speak at a Statehouse rally where gays were denounced by Jim Finnegan as “disease-filled” and “deviant”?

* Speaking of disgusting rhetoric, Andy Thayer of the Gay Liberation Network wants Rep. Greg Harris to resign if he doesn’t pass the bill next week

If Madigan is unwilling once again to buck the Catholic hierarchy and other religious bigots in Illinois and fails to push through a vote for marriage equality in the legislative session ending in early November, an embarrassed and politically impotent Harris should resign his seat in protest against his own Democratic colleagues, the same ones who in May promised to “return in November with their word that they are prepared to support this legislation.”

By refusing to give political cover for their cowardice, he would be doing the honorable thing. He would be a hero.

Andy Thayer is to the gay marriage proponents what Jim Finnegan is to the opponents. Screamers are almost always part of any controversial legislative proposal, and they can be useful to help move things along or scare legislators into submission. But these two guys are particularly outrageous and need to be marginalized.

* Meanwhile, some suburban and exurban mayors have announced their support for the gay marriage bill…

· Mayor Kevin Burns – Geneva
· Mayor Bob Hausler - Plano
· Mayor Stephan Pickett - Sleepy Hollow
· Mayor Dale Berman - North Aurora
· Mayor Ray Rogina - St. Charles
· Mayor Dave Anderson – Elburn
· Mayor Gary J. Golinski - Yorkville

Several other mayors have already announced backing for the bill.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


31 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 12:43 pm:

    ===…Harris should resign his seat in protest against his own Democratic colleagues…===

    Are you ignorant?

    What would that have proven? Those opposed to SSM would be empowered by such a move;

    “Look, we got Greg harris to resign! Yes!”

    That “Thayer Rant” is the Dopiest, most ignorant rant of the political process and of getting a Bill passed since the OTHER side used the word “diseased” to stop SSM.

    Agree, marginalize this Dope, send him on vacation, to the South Seas, to South America, or to the South Pole, but sending him south to Springfield is absolutely destryoing any chance at getting at 60.

    Also, lemme guess, after Harris “resigns in protest”, the well-versed in Springfield Andy Thayer would nominate himself to take over and complete the job, through that real …interesting … rhetoric.

    Please stop. Learn.


  2. - OneMan - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 12:47 pm:

    I consider the Mayor of North Aurora a personal friend and if Dale is for it then we need to pass it, pure and simple…


  3. - RMW Stanford - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    There is a brillant idea try to force one of your biggest advocates to resigns. That will get more people to put their necks out for you.


  4. - Lakefront Liberal Gay - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:04 pm:

    Andy Thayer…. SMH.

    Sometimes I wonder why reporters even give him the time of day. He’s off his rocker.


  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:13 pm:

    Big business has been at the forefront of gay marriage, particularly the techies. And yes, it’s because talent counts.

    http://features.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2013/02/26/corporate-america-gay-marriage/


  6. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:23 pm:

    I think it’s crazy to say Rep. Harris should resign to cover for Democrats who won’t deliver the vote right now. As Yogi Berra would say, if the vote isn’t there, it isn’t there. Thayer should either chill out or direct his energy at the real problem: lack of GOP support. Why should one party be expected to carry virtually the entire load on this vote?


  7. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:25 pm:

    As George H W Bush said, it’s the economy stupid. Illinois can welcome talent regardless of sexual preference or it can watch other states pass it by.


  8. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:26 pm:

    == but sending him south to Springfield is absolutely destryoing any chance at getting at 60.==

    Priority #1- shameless self-promotion and cheap, free publicity

    Priority #WhoKnows- Get 60 votes


  9. - ChicagoR - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    No one in the local gay community would listen to Thayer, so he had to go to a national magazine that clearly doesn’t know the local lay of the land.


  10. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:37 pm:

    Hinz is right on, I respect the position that not having gay marriage is our businesses and governments revenue by couples crossing state lines to get married and spending that money elsewhere. However the real loss is talent leaving or not even coming to Illinois. That hurts businesses recruiting talent and entrepreneurship. We’re a world that is getting closer and more connected despite distance, someone can start a business anywhere and why on the world would a gay person start a business in a place that they can’t get married?

    If you’re straight and married (assuming happily) would you live in a state that wouldn’t recognize your marriage and the benefits and protections it brings or would you look to move to a state that did?


  11. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:41 pm:

    ==Why should one party be expected to carry virtually the entire load on this vote?==

    What does party affiliation have to do with justice and equal treatment under the law?


  12. - Ray del Camino - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:42 pm:

    Good for Hinz. Hard to stay out of the fray when there is so much negative crap floating around.

    Look at the work of urbanist Richard Florida, which suggests that “gay friendly” is (in conjunction with a bunch of other “lifestyle” enhancing policies) an effective strategy for recruiting top talent in the burgeoning creative sector of the economy.

    Just what Sir Reel said . . .


  13. - RMW Stanford - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:48 pm:

    Why would talented high skill gay men and lesbain women want to move to a state that gives them unequal property and economics rights.


  14. - Fan Of Greg - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:52 pm:

    The number of LGBT people working on equal marriage who think Greg should resign can be counted on one finger. GLN and Andy Thayer’s group do some good work and have been good at continuing the “heat” on this topic over the summer. It’s tempting to discount him based upon his strident view about Greg’s leadership, but like most things there is nuance. Thayer has no constituency for that viewpoint. I don’t think it’s fair to equate him with Finnegan’s rants, even if the rest of us wish Thayer would spend less time focused on Greg Harris and more time focused on Finnegan.


  15. - Bogart - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    Andy Thayer is the best thing to happen to the anti-SSM forces.


  16. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 2:03 pm:

    Good for Hinz.

    It would be one thing if he started consistently focusing on this subject in his work. People who read him for business and politics would eventually tune him out on that front.

    But writing a personal, sincere and compelling piece?

    Smart. Effective. Bravo.


  17. - otoh - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    ==Andy Thayer is to the gay marriage proponents what Jim Finnegan is to the opponents. ==

    Pleased to see that. There’s many reasonable people on both sides of the issue, but these two guys aren’t reasonable at all.


  18. - Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 2:05 pm:

    I agree with Bogart. Andy Thayer is a clown. He wouldn’t know how to pass a bill if his life depended on it.


  19. - Northsider - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 2:11 pm:

    Sir Reel @ 1:25: Actually, “It’s the economy, stupid” was Bill Clinton’s “keep your eyes on the prize” motto for his 1992 campaign. But you’re right about the economic consequences of the General Assembly’s dithering on marriage equality.


  20. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    “What does party have to do with justice and equal treatment under the law?”

    You’re joking, right?

    If you support legalizing gay marriage, then from the political standpoint, which is what this thread is about, one party is doing almost nothing and is standing in the way. How many Republican votes are there for gay marriage, two or three? I’m not sure of the exact number, but it’s pretty low–inexcusably low, in my opinion.


  21. - Jaded - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 2:57 pm:

    The bill is going to pass, mabye even as soon as next week, and that will allow Thayer to claim victory. He’s not the first lobbyist/advocate to claim credit for something accomplished by others, and he won’t be the last. At the end of the day, however, this process usually takes care of those kinds of people. Not always, but usually. What I have found is that those kinds of people really crave the spotlight, so if you all would stop talking about him, that would probably hurt him more than anything negative you can say about him.


  22. - Fan Of Greg - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 4:00 pm:

    My view of Thayer is that he both craves the spotlight and does work in the LGBT community that many do not. There is room for an organization like GLN. It’s tempting to say that Thayer/GLN do nothing to push the movement forward by pointing to things like the Harris protest and ignoring how they create energy, organize people and work with other groups. Their work on the March on Springfield, for example, was important and regardless of your view in marriage equality that event was a positive, love-affirming watershed moment in Illinois. If you’ve reduced Thayer/GLN to one part of one statement, then you’ve committed the same myopic sin that you’ve accused him of.


  23. - govt work - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 4:10 pm:

    I don’t like his (Hinz) usual articles, but this is one his best. It reminds me why Pat Quinn should do a full scale indirect money/vote push for one of those two canidates at the rally.


  24. - reformer - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 5:30 pm:

    Thayer opposed civil unions in 2010 as a craven compromise.


  25. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 6:03 pm:

    There is only one party that has campaigned on the promise of passing SSM. They fundraise off their support for the issue and consistently highlight their support for it during media appearances and speeches.

    That is the same party holding a veto-proof majority in both chambers and controlling the governor’s office.

    But yeah, we need to elect more Democrats. Then maybe they can pass SSM.


  26. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 6:18 pm:

    “But yeah, we need to elect more Democrats. Then maybe they can pass SSM.”

    If SSM passes, which party will provide the vast majority of the votes?


  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 6:24 pm:

    ===They fundraise off their support for the issue ===

    Individuals do, yes. But have you ever seen Brandon Phelps fundraising on his support for gay marriage?

    C’mon.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 7:03 pm:

    ===They fundraise off their support for the issue ===

    That is a bit lazy. You make it seem as though there is this continual collecting of monies for those supporting SSM. If it was so common, why is it “noteworthy” when those do fundraise in that manner?

    Because it is not all that common.


  29. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 9:04 pm:

    Perhaps that was a bit lazy on my part, painting with a broad brush, etc. That wasn’t sparked by the post itself, but a specific comment posted a few hours ago.

    It just gets so frustrating to see us (the general public, activists and leaders who frequent this site or just live in this state) get caught up in the game of blaming one party or another for the lack of progress instead of focusing on the lack of progress itself at times. Not just on this issue, but many issues.

    SSM marriage has not been passed yet. For advocates, that is the goal. And instead of focusing on that goal, some people are more interested in blaming one party or another and claiming that somehow one side is “good” and the other is “bad” on this one.

    In reality, it is not that simple. It never has been and never will be.

    And as we focus on blaming one party or another, pointing fingers and bickering among ourselves, focus on the broader goal gets obfuscated. My party is always the “good” guy, your party is always the “bad” guy, and meanwhile nothing changes and no one is held accountable.

    A simpler way of looking at it? As long as I can portray my party as the “good” guy and yours as the “bad” guy, I am “winning”. Never mind if actual progress on an issue is made that benefits the public or the state, it’s a “winning” issue for the party. Keep the public focused on talking about how we are supposedly the “good” guys on this issue or that, and no one will ever actually hold us accountable for the lack of progress - or anything, for that matter.

    “My party” is obviously interchangeable in this case. Republican or Democrat, it makes no difference. When winning the public relations game becomes a more important priority than addressing the underlying issues, something is truly broken in our system.

    I wrote a much longer post on this earlier that was correctly withheld (as it should have been and thankfully was) by Rich. It’s just so darn frustrating sometimes. And I appreciate having CapFax and our fellow commenters to trade ideas and vent with at times.

    Have a good night, ladies and gents.


  30. - Anon - Tuesday, Oct 29, 13 @ 10:36 pm:

    I read the article in its entirety and it is not free from the author’s bias. SSM is not the norm as he states. It is a minority position and it is contrary to the law in 30+ states, including Illinois as of today.

    As for all those who will travel to neighboring or distant states to enter into a same sex marriage, Illinois statutes expressly forbid the recognition of a marriage contracted elsewhere in opposition to Illinois laws on marriage. That’s another court battle for another day for SSM proponents. It may arise in a divorce proceeding.


  31. - Midway Gardens - Wednesday, Oct 30, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Anon at 10:36 pm: A bit of a cheap shot to say that the Hinez’ article is not free of the author’s bias. He says that right at the beginning: “That, though, is different from writing publicly about a subject on which I can’t claim objectivity.”

    Fair point that many states have the prohibition on marriage equality but many of the states that IL competes with for HQ locations now have marriage equality. It’s a good question whether or not this could impact the State’s competitiveness as 30+% of the country’s population has SSM now.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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