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Jakobsson’s son passes away

Thursday, Nov 7, 2013

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

18 Comments
  1. - MrJM - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:35 am:

    God bless Naomi Jakobsson and her family.

    – MrJM


  2. - And I Approved This Message - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    What an extraordinarily difficult choice she faced, and what a dignified and loving decision she made. Condolences on her loss and loads of respect for how she handled it. Puts a lot of things in perspective.


  3. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:39 am:

    Deep sympathies to the Jakobsson family. Losing a child is difficult for the parents no matter the age.


  4. - Victor Kingston - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:41 am:

    A few things;

    1. Rep. Jackobsson is a shining example of what true public service is. Leaving that room to come vote is something I just can’t imagine myself doing. That woman has my profound and deepest respect.

    2. The gay and liberal community needs to make this woman a hero. She gave up a whole heck of a lot for them and they need to thank her. Her whole family deserves to be showered with love and apprication.


  5. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    My sincere condolences to Rep. Jacobsson and her family.


  6. - wayward - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 11:55 am:

    So proud of Naomi for her vote. So sad for her and Eric about their son.


  7. - A guy... - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    Something to remember for Rep. Jakkobson is that her son was alive when she actually cast the vote. She stated that he would have wanted her to do her job, and she and he believed deeply in what she was doing. He was there when she actually did it. In cases like these the “moment” of death is the entire time she spent with him. She was there.


  8. - anonymous - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 12:26 pm:

    Regardless of where one is on SSM, I would hope that all people would respect this woman for her conviction. My deepest condolences to the Jakkobson family.


  9. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 1:05 pm:

    What a mom. What a son.

    Hvil i fred, Garret.


  10. - Stuff happens - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    When I first read that she might not be available due to illness I complained about it to my wife. I remembered that last time this had a possibilty of coming up for vote she was away because of illness too.

    Now I feel horrible, because I obviously raced to judgement without knowing all the facts. It’s something we all do too often.

    Thank you, Naomi Jakobsson, for fighting for the people of this state and for making such a sacrifice on their behalf. I am truly sorry for your loss.

    Illinois owes her a debt of gratitude.


  11. - wordslinger - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 1:29 pm:

    I can’t stop thinking about this story. What a testimonial to the power of love. To justice. To real family values.

    I’m proud to be in the same state with the Jackobssons.


  12. - slow down - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 1:38 pm:

    My heart goes out to Rep. Jackobsson and her entire family.


  13. - walkinfool - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 2:25 pm:

    Thank you Naomi.

    You’ve been an example of the highest family values in many ways.


  14. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 2:53 pm:

    Words fail in moments like this.

    Nothing but the very best wishes and thoughts to Jackobsson and her family.


  15. - haverford - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 3:06 pm:

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus thanking Rep. Jackobsson for an intense personal sacrifice so that others might have equal rights.

    There are some that treat being in the GA like it’s a lark - they’re at the parties and twiddle their thumbs on the floor. And then there are those that recognize the profound depth of their responsibility and service. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice, Rep. Jackobsson.


  16. - Big Debbie - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 4:43 pm:

    I have two words for Naomi: Thank you.


  17. - Ace Laredo - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 5:17 pm:

    Victor Kingston is 100% correct. I hope Rep. Jackobsson is remembered always for the sacrifice she made. It speaks to the best of humanity and she will always have my respect for it.


  18. - David Neubecker - Thursday, Nov 7, 13 @ 6:13 pm:

    When our family heard the news about Rep. Jackobsson’s son passing, I started crying. The sacrifice that she made to ensure that families like mine are treated equally in this state will never be forgotten. Years from now, our family will look back at this historic moment with a touch of sadness. Rep Jackobsson is not only a hero to the LGBT community, but should be held up as a shining example of public servant. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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