State Rep. Deb Mell said she wants nothing more than to marry her partner of nearly six years in her home state of Illinois.
Mell — who six years ago turned to her father, Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd, to help her put a public face on families where a member is gay — plans to announce her engagement to Christin Baker on the House floor Wednesday.
“I want to spend the rest of my life with her, and I want to get married in Illinois,” Mell, D-Chicago, said Tuesday during an interview on WTTW’s ” Chicago Tonight” news program. “I mean, we could go to Iowa, and Iowa’s great … I went to school in Iowa. But you know what? It’s not the state where I represent, and it’s not the state where I grew up in.”
Mell, 41, said she hopes her announcement will spark public discussion about gay marriage in Illinois. Mell is Patti Blagojevich’s sister.
I always find the respondents to abortion polls to be a little misguided. So 28.9% of people in Southern Illinois would tell a woman she can’t have an abortion, EVEN if delivering the baby will kill her?
“That you can’t legislate who you love and can’t punish people for it,”
Once you get past the emotional pitch inherent in this statement, it is glaring non sequitur.
Gays will have to marshall better arguments then that to upend 6,000 years of the treatment of marriage in our civilization.
- Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 10:14 am:
Matt- When that option is not available to the poll responder, some go right and some go left. I think the poll is more than a little flawed by leaving out the “only to save the mother’s life” option, which I suspect would have gotten a good chunk of the 28.9% and provided a more accurate read.
Frankly I think it’s pretty hypocritical for a democratic party that spent the last decade complaining that the bush administration took its eye off the ball in afghanistan and instead went to iraq, to now take up this issue.
Last week I read on this blog how 15,000 people took a day off of work to go down to complain about ms.mell and the rest of state government’s failure to do their jobs. These weren’t republicans, these were actual democrats who should have less to complain about since it’s their party that’s the problem.
1. get your day job right. Then we’ll see if we focus on stuff like this.
I can’t help but think that if Rep. Mell is making the announcement as a proclaimation of her love, than she should have done exactly that on the House floor, sans a self-serving media rush on Chicago Tonight.
On the other hand, if this is an actual political push — as she claims — to encourage conversation about legalizing civil unions and/or gay marriage, then she should ante up and introduce legislation to do so.
Maybe the conservative in me is showing its colors, but this half-hearted attempt at a political statement seems to have more to do with righting a tainted last name and little to do with true social progress.
I think civil unions are fine. Marriage is a religious sacrement so it should be up to the church. If a church wants to sanction gay marriage then fine. Every “marriage” should start as a civil union and if the couple wants to add the religious sacrement marriage then they should go through a church. But the benifiets of ” marriage” should be available to all.
There are two aspects to the same-sex marriage issue: religious and civil. You can’t force a religion to condone or participate in a marriage that goes against their precepts, so let’s let that out of the discussion. Whatever David, Abraham, Solomon, or the ancient Mesopotamians did whomever did is irrelevant to how Illinois should tackle this issue.
It’s my opinion that the issue cannot be addressed adequately without examining the various ways in which marriage is woven into the whole fabric of government, and why the government is involved. Can anyone here tell me why the government got involved with licensing marriage, why it would still be involved today, and whether or not those reasons are still valid?
Doc, wrong. I am not commenting on gay marriage or getting into historionics out of respect to this blog and it’s chief, but this is incredibly self serving and selfish on her behalf, especially someone coming from that family which let’s face it isn’t going to go down in history as the best bunch of public servants in state history.
if unemployment were low, the states finances were in good shape, then illinois would be in place to deal with an issue like this. they aren’t and that’s partly her fault.
First stroger buying fancy furniture, then this goofy fritchey stunt, now this selfish move, and this follows last week where alexi’s bank failed and that’s 4 strikes for a party that deserves to get sent into a 15 year wilderness.
Big Ears — why can’t it be both, and why is that a problem? Was this a proclamation of Rep. Mell’s commitment to her fiance? Absolutely, and anyone can see how much they love each other by how they interact, even on camera. Does it also force the conversation about marriage equality? Damn right, and why not? Whether or not you believe all couples should be able to marry in this state (I do) or whether we need the National Guard to deal with violence in Chicago (I don’t), it sure as heck got people talking about it. And that ain’t a bad thing.
**if unemployment were low, the states finances were in good shape, then illinois would be in place to deal with an issue like this. they aren’t and that’s partly her fault.**
I agree on the “partly her fault” bit, but as has been mentioned many, many times on this blog, the legislature is capable - needs to be capable - of dealing with multiple issues at once. We cannot say we will only deal with social issues in good economic times. That is just silly.
I am not entirely unsympathetic to Deborah Mell, but her constant efforts to publicize her love life make her seem less like a legislator and more like a celebrity seeking public approbation for her life choices like Ellen De Generes. Since Deborah Mell went public with her lifestyle, almost a decade ago, I think that she has gone through several relationships and partners. How much genuine validation would a marriage license provided to her?
I would think more highly of Mell if she kept her public life and private life separate and focused on addressing Illinois being nearly bankrupt rather than advertising her domestic situation and her own personal priorities so much.
Come on, we all know why she’s not introducing legislation. Mike Madigan won’t let it out of committee. Starting a public discussion of this topic is a reasonable first step.
The fact is that same-sex marriage is inevitable. The only people who are dead-set against it confuse the legal mechanism of marriage with their religion’s version of it. Or they think it’s icky. Neither one of these stances has enough legs to last more than 10 more years or so.
*Come on, we all know why she’s not introducing legislation. Mike Madigan won’t let it out of committee.*
Also, Greg Harris has introduced legislation every year for the past few years on this issue, both on marriage and on civil unions. He has been the primary legislative champion on this issue in the General Assembly. It would be a whole new level of grandstanding if she introduced her own legislation.
- lake county democrat - Wednesday, Apr 28, 10 @ 12:13 pm:
Isn’t it blasphemy to anoint oneself editor of the Bible? Last I checked there was a commandment against working on Sunday, but only some stray lines in Leviticus and such on homosexuality. Why don’t I see the religious right protesters at NFL football games?
I second Fed-up’s post with a couple additional comments. The media’s prurient interest in other people’s sex lives is a waste of my time. I am concerned about my own sex life and consider good sex as God’s give to nature. I have about the same interest in Rep. Mell’s sexual preference as in a flower’s self-fertile pollination.
Lefty, you don’t know what you are talking about. There are two bills on this topic, House Bill 178 (marriage equality) and House Bill 2234 (civil unions). Both are sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris and Rep. Mell is a co-sponsor of them. Both were assigned to a substantive committee and the civil unions bill passed; marriage equality was not called for a vote.
Rep. Harris has, to this point, chosen not to call the civil unions bill on the floor. Likely because he does not yet have the requisite votes to pass it.(Eventually, and thankfully, I believe he will have them.)
The reflexive Speaker bashing is dumb and easy.
We progressives need to use our brains, get the facts right, and identify the realy impediments to achieving our goals. It’s not the Speaker.
At what point after a gay marriage law allows for same do activists take the issue to court to compel churches to perform the ceremony? If you’all don’t think that won’t happen then you are naive. It is happening in Canada already even tho the outcome is in some doubt. It appears the issue surrounds the church issuing the state marriage license and/or the church receiving any gov’t funding for some of the services they perform. A large institution, such as the Catholic Church, which provides many services for which it receives gov’t funding could be compelled to perform the services or risk losing the funding for the unrelated programs.
I am not saying that the lawsuits will succeed. I can say with some certainty that the lawsuits will be filed. And filed. And filed. It is the great USA we’re talking about here. Where anyone can sue anyone for any reason at any time, repeatedly, without fear of any penalty.
I only say this because I support civil unions which would confer the same rights to 2 gay individuals to create a legal relationship with all the ups and downsides that heteros have without it being called marriage. I think this would be something that many could get behind even if they don’t necessarily like the idea. Remove the source of confrontation and inflammation from the debate.
Allay the fears that many religuous folk have and you might see people being less likely to fight it.
Touching watching House members get up one-by-one to congratulate Deb Mell and her partner. Kudos to Mark Beaubien for being the only one on his side of the aisle to stand up and offer sincere, heart-felt words.
The section in Leviticus also mentions not handling pigskin so that works for football as well.
Really, now. Why push this issue at religous folk who have honest concerns about this? Why be up in their face about it? Do you think that will bring them around to your way of thinking? Maybe you should read “How to win friends and influence people”. Do you and some of the red flag wavers some good.
Good for her to help put a public face on this issue.
In my expereince, the folks who so rabidly oppose gay marriage, which has no impact at all on them, are the same folks pushing for smaller government, deregualtion, etc.
I do not think the goverment should be prohibiting gay marriage. There is no legitimate civil issue necessary for the operation of the State being protected or served by the prohibition. This is more like banning the color blue becuase somone does not like it or prohibitng the consumption of black licorice because some people do not like the taste.
We have marriage in our social structure primarily to create and define property/inheritance rights, and more recently insurance benefits etc. Defining marriage to exclude same sex people from those protections doesnot advance civil interests and therefore should be dropped. Expanding those rights to same sex people helps define adoption custody, property, increases family coverage for insurance coverage etc.
Since marriage is a civil status converyed by the governemtn, religious principles are irrelevant (and to be avoided by govt anyway).
Civil union is just a State acting in a religious capacity. Either all unions under government are civil unions, or they are marriage. But drawing a catagory for religious groups is the kind of seperations issues the govt she stay away from.
At what point after a gay marriage law allows for same do activists take the issue to court to compel churches to perform the ceremony?
First, anybody can sue over anything. It doesn’t mean they win.
Second, we have this thing called the First Amendment in the USA. This ain’t Canada.
I think this is the crux of the issue right here. I think the strongest argument against gay marriage (as opposed to civil unions with full contractual, insurance, wills/trusts, tax rights, etc.), is the danger of forcing church action. The biggest controversies happen when two separate perceived “rights” are in conflict with each other.
Yes, we have the 1st Amendment. But I could see all kinds of pressure to force faith based adoption agencies or charities, for example, to recognize gay marriages. Or people suing to get a church’s tax exempt status revoked if it refuses to officiate a gay wedding. It’d essentially boil down to some “commerce clause” type argument at the federal level versus freedom of association or freedom of religion. Not sure how it’d play out at the state level.
Of course it doesn’t mean that the plaintiff will win. However, passing the law creates the situation where lawsuits can be filed whereas they aren’t before. The cost of defending against those suits adds to the cost of any institution doing business. It creates more problems and animosity. I fail to see how my post brought about such a response. I was promoting a common ground where the opposing sides could meet and agree to something that would be palatable and workable for both sides. How that can be seen as over the top is a mystery to me.
=== I think this is the crux of the issue right here. I think the strongest argument against gay marriage (as opposed to civil unions with full contractual, insurance, wills/trusts, tax rights, etc.), is the danger of forcing church action… ===
this is an emoitional appeal red herring. How many lawsuits do you see from hetero couples against churches forcing them to marry people or recognize a mariage? many religious organizations have citeria for joining.
For example being hetero does not mean you can be married in a catholic church, or have that marriage recongized by the catholic church.
religious bodies are not more susceptible to suits if you legalize gay marriage then they are now.
==First stroger buying fancy furniture, then this goofy fritchey stunt==
You’re grasping as usual, Shore. Not sure what each of these items have to do with each other, save for your ridiculous attempts to link them as some sort of Democrat conspiracy to do…something.
I don’t begrudge Rep. Mell the opportunity to share her thoughts, be it in the capitol or WTTW studios. And like I said, her familial connections and track record are suspect, to put it mildly.
But you’re nothing more than a GOP rabble rouser, a hack with a myopic agenda.
I distrust Mell because of how she became a state senator and her subsequent voting record. I distrust you because you are a Kirk sycophant that distorts and propagandizes most everything to neatly fit a preconceived notion.
The issue here is Mell. The Bush years, Afghanistan, Fritchey, and Stroger are immaterial and it is absurd to argue otherwise. So I’ll ask you again to knock it off. Please.
Ummmm…Deb…They didn’t ‘legislate love’ in Iowa. It was done by their supreme court over the clear objection of the Iowa legislature. Perfect Dem. win….done by courts finding an unwritten right to gay marriage. Good ol’ democracy….can’t win, get the judges to give you something the majority opposes.
Possibly worst advocate for gay rights…the only elected official to oppose Blago’s removal. Deb…from your daddy’s ward, I’d suggest either I-80 or the Northwest tollway to highway 20. I-80’s faster, but kind of flat. Highway 20 is scenic but only 2 lanes last 50 miles. Enjoy your time in Iowa.