* Rep. Naomi Jakobsson left her son’s bedside to cast a vote for gay marriage this week. Her son lay dying from a terminal condition…
“She had left this environment that she’d been in, kind of a waiting vigil at her son’s bedside, to come here,” [said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago]. “When she looked at me [Tuesday], she said, ‘He could die while I’m here,’ and that’s exactly what happened.
“He passed away, from what I heard, 10 minutes prior to her arriving back at his nursing home,” she said.
Garret Dick Jackobsson’s death was announced early Tuesday on the House floor by House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, stunning the chamber.
“Naomi and I talked about this. She had been sitting vigil for a week and had talked about that,” said Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, who is Jakobsson’s seatmate. “She said, ‘Garret would want me to be doing my job,’ and I think that gave her a sense of peace.”
The representative spoke to a few colleagues privately on Wednesday about her family’s tragedy and issued a short statement through her office about her compelling act of sacrifice.
“Equal protection under the law is important to everyone in my family, including Garret,” said Jakobsson. “This was a vote that was important to my whole family, one that I felt I could not miss, and I know my son was proud of my decision.”
* Other news…
* Couples plan weddings, clerks take up logistics as Illinois readies for same-sex marriage: The bulk the state’s civil unions — roughly 4,000 of the 5,000 in the state — were issued in Cook County. After being undecided on whether their facilities would be open on a Sunday, officials with Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office announced Wednesday that they’d open June 1. “There will be people competing to get the first license,” Orr said. In central Illinois, Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten said his office will be open; The county has issued 197 civil unions.
* Gov. Quinn: Illinois on ‘right side of history’
* Quinn foresees gay-marriage bill-signing ceremony stocked with ‘as many people as possible’
* Aide: Cullerton ‘so focused’ on passing same-sex marriage legislation he neglected to vote for it
* Hinz: What the gay marriage vote says about Illinois
* Pro-Traditional Marriage Group ‘Condemns’ Illinois for Legalizing Gay Marriage: Brian Brown, president of NOM, said in a statement that news from the Illinois House was “disappointing but not surprising.” “The losers will be the people of Illinois who will see that redefining marriage will unleash a torrent of harassment toward those who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” said Brown.