* Conservative Republican gay rights group GOProud’s endorsement of Bruce Rauner on the eve of the official start of legal gay marriage here sparked a major backlash among gay rights organizations which pushed the bill. From a press release…
A robust debate occurred last year over whether all Illinois couples and families should be treated equally and with dignity under the law. Today, as we celebrate the official commencement of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, we honor those officials who stood for freedom and equality.
We also remember those public figures, like Bruce Rauner, who chose the side of bigotry and intolerance.
Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, claims to be a social moderate. In public and in the media, he claims not to “have a social agenda” and that “it doesn’t matter” how he feels about marriage equality.
Rauner can’t have it both ways. A real leader takes a stand. But we now know how he really feels. Last year at a Tea Party gathering in Quincy, he had this to say about marriage equality: “They haven’t approved it in a referendum, so if I were governor I would veto.”
Rauner opposes the freedom to marry. If he had been Governor, the many couples across Illinois who today are celebrating new families would still be relegated to a second-class legal status. Bruce Rauner, as he said in Quincy, has no problem with that.
We know the real Bruce Rauner. His administration would very likely be working behind-the-scenes to block new legislation and erode the existing laws protecting our families.
Just look at the GOP “top of the ticket” and the elected officials Rauner surrounds himself with, like running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti and U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis, both of who strongly oppose the freedom to marry, LGBT family adoption rights and other legal protections. Moreover, he has given tens of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBT candidates throughout our state.
“They haven’t approved it in a referendum, so if I were governor I would veto,” [Equality Illinois] alleges Rauner said.
Rauner’s campaign could not verify the account or provide a response to the letter because they could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday evening.
Earlier Sunday, campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf declined to reveal Rauner’s personal feelings on same-sex marriage because “Bruce does not have an agenda on social issues.” But he said Rauner is not in favor of overturning the new law unless a referendum on the ballot calls for it. The campaign also noted Rauner was endorsed by GOProud, a Republican pro-gay rights group.
And Schrimpf added that Rauner does wish the best for newly-married same-sex couples.
“He wishes them congratulations and many years of happiness together,” Schrimpf said.
* That’s no mere allegation. It’s a fact. I posted the audio of Rauner’s tea party event comments on December 19th…
* From the Quinn campaign…
Throughout the campaign, Rauner has sought to downplay his position on the wrong side of history, telling one reporter: “My view is irrelevant. Why does that matter?”
At other times, he has ducked the issue altogether, acting as if it weren’t important. According to one report, during a press availability in Peoria, when a reporter asked, “Should Illinois legalize gay marriage?” Rauner responded: “I guess we’re done,” and abruptly walked out of the room.
While Rauner sought to downplay the significance of his position on the matter, people across Illinois visited their county clerks’ offices to apply for marriage licenses, a right they would undeniably not have had if Bruce Rauner were governor.