Gov. Pat Quinn says it’s time for the state House to vote on the marriage bill, already approved by the state Senate. Quinn has promised to sign it into law.
LISTEN: New round of robo calls features Meeks targeting IL House Black Caucus on gay marriage - Sun-Times Politics
Sun-Times file Fearing the same sex marriage bill could be called for a vote in the Illinois House soon, African-American Clergy Coalition (AACC) today launched another round of Robo Calls featuring a 40-second message from…
“Anything outside of that is morally wrong,” he said.
“We love people, period, but there are certain principals we must stand on,” said Bishop Willie James Campbell, of the Chicago-based Church of God in Christ. “We are biblically, spiritually against it. The Bible is our guide, our road map.”
“We are people who love our congregation. We are people who love people, no matter where they come from,” Davis said. “Nature and the Bible dictate our stance today. It is not our personal opinion about the lifestyles of any individual that comes in our church or outside of our church. It is merely based upon the word of God.”
Pastor James Meeks of the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago arrived after the press conference for the private meeting with Cardinal George.
Organizing for Action, a group that grew out of President Obama’s reelection campaign as a means to advance his legislative agenda, is assisting in the fight for marriage equality in Illinois.
“We’ve heard from OFA supporters here in Illinois that this issue matters to you, and that’s why we’re teaming up with Illinois Unites for Marriage —a joint project of ACLU Illinois, Equality Illinois, and Lambda Legal — to add our voices to this fight,” Lindsay Siler, OFA’s national director of issue campaigns, wrote in an e-mail sent Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The group had been formed primarily to generate support for Obama’s legislative priorities in Congress, but its leaders said at the outset that it would get involved in state and local matters as well, the Tribune notes. The national group Freedom to Marry reportedly asked OFA to help push the Illinois bill, which has been passed by the state House of Representatives but awaits a vote by the Senate. Illinois marriage equality backers welcomed the assistance. “I think this will remind people that the president of the United States changed his mind on marriage,” Rep. Greg Harris, chief sponsor of the legislation in the House, told the Tribune. “I’m so glad that he’s changed his mind. It’s what a lot of people are doing.”
Gay blogger John Aravosis termed the OFA involvement “important symbolically and substantively” in a Wednesday post on AmericaBlog. “It matters that an organization created … by President Obama is fighting for gay marriage in a state where black voters are being barraged with anti-gay messages,” he wrote.
The Tribune notes that these messages include automated calls by former state senator James Meeks, the pastor of a largely black megachurch, and radio ads by a group of African-American clergy members. Illinoisans “are going to listen to all sides” on the issue, Harris told the paper, but he thinks “they are going to come to the same conclusion the majority of Americans have in that this is the fair thing for government to do — to treat all people equally.”
An Illinois police officer is facing a charge of criminally transmitting HIV, the Windy City Times reports. John Savage, 38, of La Grange Park, a suburb of Chicago, is accused of having sex with an unidentified 24-year-old man in 2012 without disclosing he has HIV. The men had sex at Savage’s home. The man later asked Savage about his HIV status, which is when Savage disclosed he is HIV positive.
After the disclosure, the man contacted the police. Savage was arrested March 13, released on bond and is scheduled in court March 21. It is unclear whether the man actually contracted HIV from Savage or if the man even has the virus. HIV transmission laws in Illinois were updated in 2012, making prosecutions more difficult. Under new rules, prosecutors must prove intent to spread the virus, failure to wear a condom and the occurrence of insertive anal or vaginal sex.
To read the article, click here.
As the Illinois House of Representatives prepare to consider a marriage equality bill, State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, called same-sex relationships ‘disordered’ during a radio interview.
“They are trying to redefine marriage – it is a completely disordered relationship … When you have a disordered relationship, you don’t ever get order out of that, so I am more than happy to take the no vote on the issue of homosexual marriage,” Ives told the Catholic Conference of Illinois Radio Hour on Feb. 25.
During the same interview, Ives said gay couples seeking to marry are “… trying to weasel their way into acceptability so that they can then start to push their agenda down into the schools, because this gives them some sort of legitimacy, and we can’t allow that to happen.”
Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, said Ives is “out of touch with the majority of Illinoisans.”
“Poll after poll shows that the fair-minded people of Illinois support marriage equality. Representatives on both sides of the aisle really need to think about how they want to be remembered in 20 years. Will they be on the side of fairness and equality, or on the side where Representative Ives is standing now,” he said.
Ives was elected to the House in November and represents the state’s 42nd District. The freshman representative campaigned on conceal and carry and pension reform.
“She has not taken one vote on the issues that she campaigned on,” commented Martinez. ”Maybe the representative should worry about representing the will of the people rather than pushing political rhetoric that is not based in reality.”
Calling herself “courageous,” Ives confirmed she is a “no” vote on the Religious Freedom and Marriage Act, which, if passed, would make Illinois the 10th state in the union allowing its gay and lesbian citizens to marry.
“Our opponents are pulling out all the stops,” state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), sponsor of the bill, told Windy CIty Times on Monday. ”You can see it in the rhetoric, it’s getting very heated.”
Harris said he would not call the bill until it has the 60 votes necessary for passage. Marriage rights advocates continue to urge supporters to call their lawmakers.
“I would have loved something like that when I was little,” said Penney, who is a lesbian and lives in Lakeview. “I knew I was different and I found an outlet in combat sports. I became my own hero.”
The feisty DePaul University student said she was bullied as a child growing up in different Chicago suburbs as her family constantly moved. She found her escape during her junior year at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange when she began wrestling.
“I was a really aggressive kid. I was always looking for an outlet,” she said.
Within two years of finding that outlet, Penney won the girls’ high school wrestling championship in Illinois and competed in nationals. Boxing is her next step, and likely not her last, as Penney hopes to conquer a number of combat sports on her way to competing in a mixed-martial arts fight.
“I really want to try every outlet. It’s given me so much since I started,” she said. “Troubles with family and friends, it’s kept me going. When I come here it’s all my own space.”
Since she started training at Chicago Mixed Martial Arts, a new gym on Halsted Street just south of North Avenue, Penney has worked with gym owner Misho Ceko to create her anti-bullying class. The “Gracie Bully-proof Program,” named after the the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Gracie family, meets twice a week to teach children basic techniques to fend off bullies who are often bigger than them.
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“Rep. Ford has sponsored this bill for the past five years, and his leadership and persistence have finally paid off,” said Ann Fisher, executive director of AIDS Legal Council of Chicago (ALCC). “AIDS Legal Council of Chicago and AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) are grateful for Rep. Ford’s support and thank his colleagues in the House who voted for the bill.”
Illinois is the only state with a law mandating that when a state or local health department receives a report of an HIV-positive student, that child’s school principal must be notified. The principal then has authority to share this information with the superintendent, school nurse, classroom teacher, and “other persons as may be necessary.” Recognizing the stigma involved with singling out HIV-positive students, a coalition of organizations has been working for many years to repeal this outdated, vague, and discriminatory law, with partners from the ACLU of Illinois, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and advocates throughout the state.
ALCC supervisory attorney, Colleen Boraca, stated, “Over twenty-five years after this law’s passage in 1987, it is well known that HIV is not transmitted through biting, sports, or other casual contact. School personnel are trained to treat all fluids with universal precautions, further making this law unnecessary.”
“Illinois has moved one step closer to parity with the other 49 states. We applaud Illinois for protecting the medical privacy of Illinois families and students affected by HIV,” said Ramon
Gardenhire, AFC’s director of government relations. “We urge the Illinois Senate to take up this issue quickly and remove this barrier to HIV testing of youth.” Ann Fisher added that adolescents have the fastest-growing rate of new HIV infections in Illinois, but many refuse testing fearing their status will become known at their school. The bill proceeds to the Illinois Senate, where it must be called for a final vote by the end of the legislative session on May 31, 2013.
So much for turning the other cheek. A number of conservative Chicago churches are promising to turn away any lawmaker who votes for the marriage equality bill.
The Huffington Post reports:
…about two dozen conservative Catholic and African-American clergymen formed a new religious coalition with the Catholic Conference of Illinois, vowing to ban Illinois lawmakers who support same-sex marriage from their Chicago-based churches. Among those to decry the state’s pending marriage equality legislation, which is currently awaiting a House vote, was Bishop Lance Davis, senior pastor at a church in Dolton. “We want to make sure that we a send a message to our elected officials that as a collective community and a collaborative, we will not allow you to speak in our churches, you will not be invited to our church when you’re running for office because we as a community are incensed,” he is quoted by the radio station as saying.
Well, you won’t be welcomed in our gay bars, either. So there.
Illinois activists for LGBT rights are making a home-stretch push for passage of marriage equality legislation, which is expected to come up in the state House of Representatives next week. The bill has been passed by the state Senate, and Gov. Pat Quinn has promised to sign it. It would make Illinois the 10th U.S. state with marriage equality.
Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago, the bill’s chief House sponsor, sent a letter to supporters throughout the state Thursday emphasizing the need for concentrated activity to assure its passage. “In the final days of this campaign, it’s critical that we keep up the pressure until this bill passes. As the House sponsor of the bill, I’m prepared to put it all on the line until we pass SB10 in the House,” Harris wrote in the letter. Sen. Heather Steans, the Senate sponsor, also sent out a letter underlining the importance of grassroots support. Other activist efforts include phone banks, postcard mailings, and individual meetings with legislators.
“The commitment and energy of our volunteers is amazing,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of LGBT rights group Equality Illinois. “We can only succeed if people step up to contact their House members and volunteer for this campaign.”
Illinois Unites for Marriage, a coalition including Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, is scheduling phone banks for Monday around the state to urge support for the bill. Prospective volunteers can choose a shift and get more information here.
Written by scott
In a further sign of the strengthening of ties between the various coalitions of the democratic party, a group of prominent Latinos in Illinois is standing up for marriage equality. The Southern Illinoisan reports:
In an open letter to lawmakers Sunday, 23 Latino leaders say all families deserve to be treated with respect. Among those signing the letter are former Chicago City Clerk Miguel Del Valle and Sylvia Puente, executive director of the Latino Policy Forum.
We only win (all of us) when we stand together. As a community, we need to work with our Latino (and African American and other) partners to improve things for everyone.
Gay and lesbian couples and their families gathered in Springfield Wednesday to meet with State Representatives and urge them to pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.
“This legislation is about simple fairness for the thousands of loving families across Illinois,” said Rick Wade, standing next to his partner Tim Kee. Wade and Kee have been together for 15 years and live in Marion, in a house built on land that was Rick’s great-great-grandparents’ homestead. ”We are here to have a real conversation with our representatives on this issue.”
The Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 10 last Thursday. The legislation that would make gay marriage legal in the state now advances to the Illinois House where opposition is expected to be more formidable. With a number of representatives still undecided on how they will vote, gay rights advocates say it’s crucial for supporters to call their lawmakers.
A number of couples from across Illinois participated in “Family Day,” including Michelle Franke and Michelle Chapell of Champaign.
“We have been together for 21 years. Two years ago, we entered into a civil union after getting our license at the Champaign County Clerk’s office,” they said. ”We want our daughter Rose to know that our family has the same legal status as any other Champaign family. We’re a unit just like any other family.”
Illinois Unites for Marriage – a coalition led by Equality Illinois, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois - sponsored “Family Day.” As supporters of gay marriage gathered, the anti-gay Illinois Family Institute held a rally against gay marriage at the Capitol rotunda Wednesday. The “Defend Marriage” lobby was also promoted by the Catholic Conference of Illinois with the Diocese of Peoria and Rockford busing parishioners to Springfield.
Gay rights advocates argue that momentum is on the side of marriage equality. A new poll released Tuesday by Crain’s Chicago Business indicates a majority of Illinoisans support the gay marriage bill, with 50 percent in favor and only 29 percent opposed. If approved, Illinois would become the 10th state to extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.
The Illinois Family Institute, a designated hate group, is joining the chorus of conservatives claiming that gays and lesbians already have equality under the law. Unlike the National Organization for Marriage and Family Research Council, IFI is a bit more candid about how exactly it sees this vision of “equality”:
First, those who choose to place their same-sex attraction at the center of their identity are “treated like anyone else under the law.” They are perfectly free to participate in the sexually complementary institution of marriage. They choose not to. They are not asking to be treated equally. They are demanding to be treated specially. They want the unilateral right to jettison the central defining feature of marriage (i.e. sexual complementarity) — something, by the way, that polygamists, polyamorists, “minor-attracted persons,” and sibling-lovers are not permitted to do.
by Jeremy Hooper
Beginning tonight and continuing throughout next week, viewers across the Chicagoland area will get a chance to watch a TV program featuring David Smith, the head of the Illinois Family Institute (IFI), the key organization that is lobbying against marriage equality in Illinois. And when they do, these viewers will come to learn what we already know: that the IFI’s agenda goes far beyond the issue of marriage and instead seeks to “change” LGBT people.
Click the header link above to read the full article and watch the video.
Valentine’s Day for LGBT couples in Illinois just got a little sweeter, as this morning, the Illinois State Senate voted in favor of marriage equality by a margin of 34-21, according to the Windy City Times. The Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act now heads to the House, where supporters say passage is not yet assured, according to Windy City.
“The momentum is building,” said Rep. Greg Harris, the House sponsor of the legislation, in a statement. “More and more House members are telling me they want to be on the right side of history and that they intend to support the bill. Support for marriage equality is growing nationally and in Illinois, and we’re seeing that reflected in the mood of the House.”
Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has been a vocal supporter of the legislation and promised to sign it should it arrive on his desk.
“While this historic day is only half the battle, the Senate today put Illinois on the road to recognizing that, as President Obama said in his inaugural address, ‘the love we commit to one another must be equal’,” said Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov in a statement.
Today’s vote means Senate president John Cullerton got his wish to pass the legislation out of his chamber on Valentine’s Day.