* The Sun-Times has an excellent roundup of the US Supreme Court DOMA ruling’s impact on Illinois, including this…
Wednesday’s court rulings brought signs of some movement, including within the 20-member House Black Caucus. At the end of May, only five lawmakers in the caucus had publicly committed to voting in favor of the same-sex marriage bill.
State Rep. Monique Davis (D-Chicago), a vocal critic of Harris’ plan, told the Chicago Sun-Times that she now is “much more inclined” to vote for it because gay couples in other states will now have access to federal benefits but those in Illinois will not.
“I don’t want to hurt their Social Security,” Davis said. “Surely you cannot have people in one state getting Social Security and have people in another who do not. That cannot go.”
Rep. Monique Davis was a harsh, harsh critic of gay marriage. For instance…
Asked if the same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue, Davis didn’t bat an eye.
“Have they ever hung from trees?” she asked. “Were they ever slaves for 500 years, then I don’t think so. I don’t think [the issues are] equal … Simple as that.”
So, obviously, a position change by her would be huge.
* Rep. Ken Dunkin makes a valid point…
“Part of the big challenge with the gay community on this issue is that it’s seen as a white issue,” Dunkin said, adding that activists have yet to create a program to help educate lawmakers and the African-American community about why same-sex marriage is a valid issue.
* Windy City Times…
Many felt the [black] caucus was taken for granted, with two lobbyists hired in the final 48 hours to target Black lawmakers.
Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Community Services, also said that Black LGBT leaders were not called on to aide in outreach to Black representatives.
“We could have been educating and mobilizing our constituents,” said Hunt. “We did have some constituents that we knew of that were very interested in going to Springfield. We don’t have the resources for that. There could have been things that we could have done in the Black press, which we tried to do a little bit … but it wasn’t part of a larger strategy. It was just us stepping in because we weren’t seeing anything visible in terms of support marriage equality.”
Hunt and O’Connor were among a group of Black LGBTs to travel to the capitol independent of the coalition to lobby lawmakers.
The lack of African-American outreach in the House and in the districts has been a stupendous failure.
* State Sen. Cullerton talks marriage progress in Illinois
* Choking back tears, Tunney urges Il. House to “get its act together” on gay marriage
* Same-sex marriage advocates in Illinois see court ruling as a boost for their cause
* No clear direction on gay marriage in Illinois after court ruling