Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tells Supporters to Pressure Illinois Lawmakers on Marriage Equality

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pressing his supporters to turn up the heat on lawmakers in Springfield ahead of an anticipated vote on marriage equality by the Illinois House, the Sun-Times reports:

EmanuelIn an email to the vast network of supporters he created during the mayoral campaign, Emanuel created a vehicle for gay marriage proponents to pressure their state representatives with the click of a mouse.

“The clock is ticking. The House is poised to vote…in the coming days. And I know from talking with several of my friends in Springfield that some members of the House still haven’t decided which way they’ll vote,” Emanuel wrote in a personalized email to supporters Monday.

“If we’re going to pass this bill, it’s crucial that members of the House hear from marriage supporters every single day until the freedom to marry becomes law in Illinois.” …

… “It’s time for the laws of our state to reflect the values of our people. It’s time for Illinois to take the lead,” the mayor wrote.

“Real change happens when citizens stand strong, tell their stories and urge their lawmakers to do what’s right….What happens in the next week is up to you. Let’s do what it takes to bring home a victory for the thousands of Illinois families who are counting on us right now.”

Emanuel's email comes amid reports that supporters are still looking for the votes needed to pass the bill in the House. On Friday, Chicago magazine published an article indicating where the votes stand.

Find out how to contact Illinois legislators HERE.

(inset: a social media image created by Emanuel's office shortly after the Senate passed the marriage equality bill on Valentine's Day)


  1. Scott Johansen says

    Look…if Illinois doesn’t get this passed (with a clear Democratic majority) we need to do the same thing we did in New York…..Get ACT UP involved, and get these legislatures out.

    Or at least mobilize to get them out. I’ve been involved in varying degrees in the political arena for ages and the worst thing that can happen to a demographic is a political party knowing (or thinking) they have your vote in the bag. LGBT Illinois residents, and nationwide, have contributed greatly to the politicl careers of these Democratic elected officials. Be it by way of campaigning, fund raising, resources, or plain donations out of their own pockets. They can feel too secure that they have our vote without pressure. The pressure to put our concerns and rights and needs need to go hand in hand with our support.

    If this doesn’t get passed, 2014 is our year to replace these legislators with equally qualified leaders who are truly FOR equality- for all.

  2. Duration & Convexity says

    I agree wholeheartedly with Scott Joheansen. If this fails and fails due to reluctant Democrats who don’t want to extend full equal rights to LGBT tax paying citizens, then the very next day, I hope ILL LGBT groups galvanize a campaign to identify and vote out the freedom deniers. Point blank.
    Our community sits on the side lines waiting for change to happen and when we’re giving the ‘NO’ we just wait until gay friendly politicians are elected. Why? why not campaign against those who may be on the same party line as us, but are against our fair treatment & justice.
    There’s plenty of marriage equality defenders who are Democrat in ILL and should be considered in the primary. Enough of the complacency.

  3. NYer Dad says

    @ Scott
    That’s exactly how we in NY got marriage equality. We sent a loud & clear message to all elected leaders with a D next to their names that if you don’t support our rights, we will campaign and combat your career. That message got heard by Democrats who in times past thought they could give the gay community lip service and have our votes on lock down.

  4. Michelle says

    I agree with other comments expressed here. The reason religious right have been succesful in these states in persuading (threatening)law makers to go against GLBT rights is because they make sure the law makers know that if they don’t do so, their behind is toast. They send flyers, and make calls, and rally, and create posters that express why they want their base to support and champion the opposer. We need to do more of the same. New York state was the first and really only time I saw our camp do that. I’m disheartened we don’t do so more frequently.

  5. Ken says

    It’s also important that the leadership makes sure this bill comes to a vote, even if we don’t have the votes to pass it. We need to make sure everyone is on record so we know exactly who to target if it doesn’t pass.

  6. Bill says

    What did Rahm Emanuel really say?

    During some event where wisecracks were the order of day, President Obama once quipped that Rahm Emanuel had trouble with Mothers’ Day because he had trouble saying “day” after “mother”.

  7. Cubs Fan says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it’s ridiculous that there’s so much opposition for marriage equality by Democrats. Friends and I were discussing the frustration on facebook. Marriage equality is now PART of the Democratic platform. And in Illinois, our PRESIDENT has numerous times expressed pressure for his fellow democrats, many of whom admire him greatly, to pass this. They are the super majority. And yet we have Chicago democrats coming out and saying they won’t support it because the Churches in their area wouldn’t like it? Well then it’s high time the LGBT in Chicago start showing it won’t be pretty for these democrats to continue to treat so many of their constituents as second class citizens.

  8. Real Talk says

    Now that New York has marriage equality, are the forces who were behind the get equal/act up campaigns in NY willing to go to Illinois and work their effective tactics? We need a cohesive group on our side as vocal and passionate as NOM, to put their foot down and let these politicians know that we won’t forget that they blocked our equality. Do we have that in Illinois? If not, I sure hope we get the folks from the Get Equal/Act Up crew in New York out there.

  9. Dalurker says

    WTF happened after the election? We have a fiercely outspoken and phenomenal endorsement from our President. Citizens in FOUR states showed support for marriage equality on the ballot. For the first time in history, multiple national polls show a majority of the nation is for marriage equality and now more so than ever, we have politicians dragging their feet on gay marriage.

    Rhode Island was a bust. Hawaii was a bust. Heck, Wyoming turned out to be a bust on civil unions. And now Illinois? This is some bull right here, and as a lifelong Democrat who has no expectations of Republicans grasping the notionof fairness, I’m extremely growing tired of this trend. What happened in Rhode Island and some Democrats who were on record as saying they’d support marriage equality, then saying “PSYCHE!” ticked me off, but now Illinois is making me fed up.

  10. Bill says

    @Dalurker: in understanding what is going on, keep in mind that state senate and assembly districts were probably determined around 2010, based on the last census. Don’t discount the effects of gerrymandering. Often the only viable compromise is one that allows everyone already elected to keep their jobs, and they’ll try to adjust districts to do that. For example, if you take liberal areas surrounding Chicago and split them among a number of districts that tend to vote Republican, you can arrange to keep Republicans overrepresented. In other states, it can work in the opposite direction.

  11. Martin says

    Put the pressure on them. And get involved. Hold them responsible for their votes. Gay people exist and contribute to society. We shouldn’t have to watch our rights be played a game of football with, while these rich elected officials tell us we’re not worthy.

  12. Chitown Kev says


    Given that Governor Quinn’s polls have tanked, he does not have the leverage that Cuomo had when he pushed in New York (and I like our Governor).

    Quinn has said that he will sign the bill if it hits his desk and that’s about all he can do, quite frankly.

  13. Icebloo says

    The official Democratic platform states support for introducing gay marriage. If these weak, dishonest, self-serving politicians do the same as the shi$head Democrats in Hawaii (who also chose not to introduce gay marriage) then they should not be allowed to be Democrats and should receive no funding from Democratic HQ funds during election time.

  14. Duane says

    Why don’t people try writing the DNC and ask that it reach out to these senators. You could even mention that if the DNC does not get involved and push these senators you will think twice about donating to the organization. People could then give the money directly to candidates that have a proven record of voting or speaking out in support of LGBT rights.