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Rauner blasted for saying he’d veto gay marriage bill

Monday, Jun 2, 2014

* 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.

* Sun-Times

“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.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:09 am:

    He said he’d veto it. That’s unambiguous. Own it.

  2. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:13 am:

    “Buh… buh… but Rauner’s second wife is a Democrat!!1!”

    – MrJM

  3. - Linus - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:14 am:

    This “I don’t have a social agenda” shtick is going to look increasingly evasive and cowardly — not stoic and statesmanlike, as the campaign apparently hopes. Governors have to deal with social issues, plain and simple. Same goes for gubernatorial candidates. It’s a core element of the job description.

  4. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:20 am:

    I saw this push in sponsored posts all over social media this weekend. Sure, the effectiveness of social media campaigns is questionable… But, it was nice to see some new (old) outside groups jump in to the governor’s race.

  5. - Judgment Day - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:23 am:

    Advice to Equality Illinois:

    Stop being a sore winner. It’s unbecoming of what you have accomplished.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    Prime example of the “Two Rauners”

    You can not live your life one way, create a persona that refutes your actual life, and then, when it’s by convenience, of another 180 to try have both sides of one issue.

    I am continually amazed at Conservative “Platform”, litmus test Republicans who gravitate to “Bruce Rauner” and fail to see the real Bruce Rauner they are supporting.

    I am continually amazed at groups, led by Terry Cosgrove or Equality Illinois and supporters of both, that understand that “Bruce Rauner” and Bruce Rauner are not the same, and how important those “Moderate” groups dismiss and even refute both Rauners, and to their credit, make sure the education of voters to both Rauners continues, and trying to make sure Illinois voters are not fooled like the GOP voters this March.

    You say something, you own it. Gotta eat it. It is who you are, not to who was listening that day, even that hour. The GOP know that, Democrats know that, Raunerites do not care.

    Remember GOP GA members, Bruce Rauner thinks 1/3 of you are corrupt…too… to the corrupt Democrats, even Bruce Rauner’s PAC might support…against you.

    Being a Raunerite means saying anything, meaning nothing, repeating talking points, until you watch the shiny object Raunerites think will fool you best.

    I hope the Terry Cosgroves and Equality Illinois groups understand how important education on Rauner is, and the Unions, hope they aren’t fooled too.

  7. - Frenchie Mendoza - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    How can anyone elect — or even contemplating electing — a governor that claims he or she has no social agenda? A social agenda is part of governing.

    Of course he has a social agenda. Of course he does. To say that you don’t is to say you’ve essentially unplugged your moral consciousness for your entire life. Rauner hasn’t. He’s unplugged it (perhaps) when it’s come to take-no-prisoners profiteering — but to say or to suggest you have no social agenda is like admitting the absence of your soul. And then being proud that you’re (secular or spiritual — doesn’t matter) not burdened with it or not bothered by its absence.

  8. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    He can’t claim to be a leader and then hide behind referenda. It’s a continuing contradiction he puts forth, like when he’s a hands-on leader in the businesses GCTR owned except when they were bad and he wasn’t. Word is absolutely right - he needs to own it, own something, own anything.

  9. - Jeeves the Cat - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:31 am:

    Dodge. Weave. Don’t take a position. Don’t answer any questions directly. Use personal fortune to flood TV’s across state with friendly faces of other people telling everyone else in Illinois how great Bruce is. Win in November. Start showing people who you really are in 2015. Pray they don’t remember by 2018.

  10. - Wensicia - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:33 am:

    Cowardice. Remember, what’s happening right now would not have been possible if Rauner were governor. Reflect on other issues he won’t offer an opinion on and think of what he’ll say and do if elected.

  11. - wndycty - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    @Judgment Day I don’t see how Equality Illinois is being a “sore winner.” This is an election year and they are merely protecting their allies, as most organizations with a policy agenda do. There is nothing sore about this, its just reminding those who value marriage equality who their friends are, and in the case of Rauner, who they aren’t.

  12. - Frenchie Mendoza - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:37 am:

    BTW — why doesn’t he simply say, “I’ll tell you my social agenda once I’m elected.”

    That’s essentially what he’s saying — and, like many have said above, it’s time to own up. If you want to keep running the dopey, jokey commercials on Bravo and Lifetime — fine. The puppy dogs and flowers will certainly entice some folks. But for the folks that want Rauner to intellectually enagage — even if his engagement doesn’t lead to immediate or even viable solutions — he ought to simply say, “I’ll reveal all when I’m elected.”

    Or: “My social agenda aligns with my GOP base. You connect the dots.” This would lose his puppy dog and flower democrats, but it might gain him some hardcore GOP votes that would otherwise stay home.

    What about gun control? He’ll bob and weave here, too — simply because Glocks and puppy dogs and flower voters don’t usually care for one another.

  13. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:50 am:

    To be on the wrong side of history, you need some history. That story will unfold over time. It’s the law of the land going forward. People in favor have achieved a very important milestone for their cause. It’s a big enough issue that a referendum wouldn’t have been a terrible idea. Even today, I’m not certain it would have achieved a majority in a referendum. California did not.

    That being said, Greg Harris (with some powerful help) did a masterful job with this. Mostly by being gracious, gentlemanly and non-threatening. This is still a difficult issue for many people. Spiking the football might be the wrong approach. Just celebrate your love and your new rights and let’s get back to business. There’s a lot more to do.

  14. - Bored Chairman - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:52 am:

    Um, wasn’t Obama opposed to SSM until recently?

  15. - Cheryl44 - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    As far as I can tell, being against equality and wanting to lower the minimum wage are the only opinions Rauner’s offered about anything.

  16. - Walker - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    “We have an economic and fiscal emergency. We need to focus all our attention there. That’s why I won’t be talking about social issues.”

    This framing just might work with the voting public. Especially if the general driver is dissatisfaction.

    But it sure won’t drive turnout. That’s what a social issues agenda does — as both sides have proven.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    This is not spiking the football, not having class, or grace, or whatever Dopey spin Raunerbots want this spun as.


    One of the Bruce Rauners said they would veto SSM. Proponents of the measure, wether they were victorious or not, need to understand that Bruce Rauner, and “Slip and Sue” were not in favor of SSM, and no matter what national group of Dopes want to give cover to “Slip and Sue” or the Rauners, one of the Rauners would have vetoed SSM.

    They the Rauners/”Slip and Sue” ticket are not for SSM, so own that and move on. Just don’t change your story Rauner Crew, as you court Democrats and Indies, hoping they ignore or forget all you said to refute your new “reality”.

  18. - Joan P. - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    “Bruce does not have an agenda on social issues.”

    Really? Because, as governor, he doesn’t expect to have to deal with “social issues”? What world does he live in?

  19. - Langhorne - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    Social issues will come up. If the baron has no social agenda, how will he deal w them? Benefits for pregnant women for ex. Cost/benefit analysis? Ask his panel of superstars? Referenda? Online polling? Give them to the lt gov?

    No social agenda, except for a veto of gay marriage

  20. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 10:59 am:

    Stop being a sore winner. It’s unbecoming of what you have accomplished.

    Fighting on when others tell you to rest on your laurels is exactly how you become a winner.

    – MrJM

  21. - maxwellsmarts - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    I guess he said what he felt he needed to say to Tea Partiers. If he feels differently, he should say so.

    There’s a reason the only Republican elected to the Executive Branch supports marriage equality. It’s not a “social agenda,” the freedom to marry for all truly matters to Illinoisans.

  22. - maxwellsmarts - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Er, besides the outgoing Treasurer of course. And his feelings on the matter are… complicated, let’s say.

  23. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:31 am:


    Your 11:10 comment is less than honest. SSM passed in the House with one vote more than the minimum to spare.

    It is a form of classic Progressive conceit that you assume that all people share such opinions. If the freedom to marry for all truly matters to Illinoisans why did it take 196 years to revise the law?

    As another comment noted above a referendum on marriage failed in California, so it is a fair bet that a similar referendum would not have been approved in Illinois. The SSM strategists knew that and opposed having the question put to the voting public.

    Celebrate your legislative victory, but do not imagine that there is or was universal support for SSM in the Prairie State. This issue is more complicated then that.

  24. - Anon - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:33 am:

    As with presenting his own budget, taking a stand on social issues will only lose him votes. Consequently, he doesn’t take a stand, and hopes voters won’t pay attention to that SSM comment he made before the primary. Since the law is in effect, I don’t see that issue being significant in November.

  25. - Cheswick - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    “We shouldn’t be sidetracked by social issues when we have serious economic and financial problems in this state. That’s why I don’t understand why no one is paying attention to my proposed budget.” — Bruce Rauner

    Oh. Wait.

  26. - Amuzing Myself - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    In a lesson still not learned by IL Republicans, it doesn’t matter how moderate you might be, the left will find a way to turn you into a drooling, right-wing nut in a hotly contested election. It’s old, tiresome and should be pretty insulting to educated voters. However, it has proven time and again to be effective in politics, and in Illinois, the politics trumps everything else. This will get some media play and some targeted mail attention, but it’s not going to turn the election. Most (not all of course, but most) who care enough to base their vote entirely on this issue were never likely voting R anyway. Smoke and mirrors. If the discussion can be about this rather than the budget, taxes and the miserable failure that is Gov. Quinn, then Quinn doesn’t lose that particular day. Yawn…

  27. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    – If the discussion can be about this rather than the budget, taxes …–

    You’re right. Let’s discuss the Rauner ideas on the budget and taxes.

  28. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    Nationally, the polling data looks bad for the Democrats. In Illinois, the Democrats are in a position of strength, so the legislature ought to be secure, but the leaders are taking nothing for granted and refusing to yield an inch. An exceptional amount of gimmickry is being employed to motivate their voters to show up in November. This controversy seems to be more of the same. The possibility of a Governor Rauner rescinding SSM seems to be slim or none, but creating a nonsensical controversy will bring out some voters and open some checkbooks.

  29. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 12:07 pm:

    Upon further review said: “If the freedom to marry for all truly matters to Illinoisans why did it take 196 years to revise the law?”

    I don’t know other than to say it shouldn’t have taken that long. Why did it take until the 1860s to abolish slavery? Why did it take until the 1920s to allow women the right to vote? Why did it take until the 1960s to have enforcable civil rights and eliminate prohibitions on interracial marriage?

    Maybe because there are people in society - in control of segments of society - whose power within society diminishes when those things happened. Could be.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===In a lesson still not learned by IL Republicans, it doesn’t matter how moderate you might be, the left will find a way to turn you into a drooling, right-wing nut in a hotly contested election. ====

    Bruce Rauner, one of them anyway, said he would veto SSM. It came out if his mouth.

    To that,

    Pick your issue. If you are a one issue voter, the good or bad of that, knowing someone’s stance is not a left wing conspiracy, nor is it a right wing slam.

    You are for something, you are against something, that’s that.

    The reason Rauner’s Crew is avoiding anything that might peel off votes is that standing for nothing polls better than leadership and standing for something. A lesson that Crew learned “shaking up Unions” and not controlling turnout.

    Own it, eat it. Rauner would have vetoed SSM. He said it, so he needs to just accept that saying that, negates him as a choice to some voters.

  31. - maxwellsmarts - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    @Upon Further Review:

    If you are basing Illinoisan attitude based on vote count alone, you would be sorely mistaking the temperature of the populace. Heading INTO the vote, there was already a plurality of Illinois polls supporting marriage equality:

  32. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 2:47 pm:

    ==Stop being a sore winner. It’s unbecoming of what you have accomplished.==

    I guess the NAACP should have just packed up shop after Brown.

    ==It’s a big enough issue that a referendum wouldn’t have been a terrible idea. Even today, I’m not certain it would have achieved a majority in a referendum.==

    You don’t put human rights up the vote of a referendum. That’s cowardice.

    ==If the freedom to marry for all truly matters to Illinoisans why did it take 196 years to revise the law?==

    Do you truly believe that your statement is an example of logical thinking?

    ==it doesn’t matter how moderate you might be==

    You can’t be moderate when you’re a reactionary. The definitions do not go together. Look them up in the dictionary.

  33. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 5:10 pm:

    Precinct Captain, there are plenty of people who would disagree with this being a Civil Rights issue. I’d be one of them. Given your obvious view otherwise (which I can respect as a position), the process that took place wasn’t exactly high brow to say the least. SSM is now a legal status in Illinois (and other states). Social acceptance in many quarters will take some time or be unattainable for some. If a referendum showed popular support among a majority, that would certainly speed things up a bit. Passing a law is no more or less cowardice than gauging public opinion. It’s legal. Keep living and keep convincing people there ‘never’ was anything to be afraid of. That’s how you win the crowd. Not the nutty stuff.

    I would not be in favor of repealing this law. I wouldn’t do anything to gin up support to do so. Just gracefully accept a win.

  34. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 5:38 pm:

    It sounds like Rauner is doubling down on his position. According to the Tribune Rauner believes in letting voters decide issues.

    It seems like Rauner may regret his spokesman saying that, unless he’s saying he’ll sign a minimum wage increase or millionaires tax if he wins and those 2 referenda pass in November. Then again this whole episode is typical of the Rauner campaign, say (or not say) whatever it takes to offend the least amount of people, try to make everybody happy and do whatever it takes to win without thinking about what happens if he wins. People say he’s not a politician but he’s certainly acting like one.

  35. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 2, 14 @ 5:54 pm:

    Both Rauners will try to sell that they wanted a referendum, then would veto the legislation, thus keeping both promises!

    The more Equality Illinois or other groups point out the utter fraud that both Rauners are, and that trusting either Rauner is a fatal blow to their issues…if the Real Rauner thinks is politically expediant, then call it “baloney ” and laugh at the voters and the reporters questioning him.

    Rauner already laughs at us. Rauner already laughs at questions. Rauner already laughs at reporters.

    It won’t change. It will only get worse.

    Both Rauners are the type of candidates that love the idea of fooling as many people as possible, and mocking those wanting something “different” while being part of the status quo.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* 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

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