Illinois House Democrats Apologize for Marriage Equality Bill Fizzle

Illinois House Democrats have issued a formal apology to advocates, supporters, and families for not voting on marriage equality last week:

IllinoisLike you, we are incredibly disappointed about what happened Friday in Springfield. But let's not forget something very important: Marriage equality is going to happen.

As a community, we must come together, assess our strategy, and redouble our efforts in the fight for fundamental fairness. This is not the time for us to splinter — for that is exactly what our opponents want.

The more united we are in the coming days and weeks, the sooner the bill will get passed — and the sooner our dream of full equality will become a reality.

We want to extend our sincerest apologies to the families who rushed to Springfield in the waning hours of session to support equality in anticipation of this historic vote. You have been and continue to be our inspiration and we pledge to fight together until we achieve full equality for all Illinois families.

Signatories include Christian L. Mitchell, Maria Antonio Berrios, Greg Harris, Kelly M. Cassidy, Deborah Mell, Sam Yingling, Lou Lang, Sara Feigenholtz, Naomi D. Jakobsson, Ann M. Williams, Robert F. Martwick, Mike Smiddy,  Robyn Gabel, Barbara Flynn Currie, Heather A. Steans, and Laura Fine.

Why Did the Illinois Marriage Equality Vote Fizzle? — VIDEO [tlrd]


  1. anon says

    I want to know why the bill wasn’t brought to a vote even though it wouldn’t pass so we could get legislators on the record and know who is for and against us.

  2. Randy says

    A genuine apology includes new steps that will make up for the original problem.

    What are Illinois Democrats going to do to make up for denying equal marriage rights to same-sex couples for (at least) months?

    Nothing, right?

  3. steve talbert says

    For those readers not from Illinois, the Speaker of the House has pretty much absolute control over outcomes. A vote did not come up because they did not want a vote to come up.

  4. aaron says

    It could even happen this summer. If we all wear colored LeCoste logo shirts, or Polo’s, we can visit waspy beach like settings pictured above. Sea grass, sand and white gay dreams… Wholesome homosexuality — the marrying kind. Weary from battle?

  5. steve talbert says

    The main reason to postpone the vote after MONTHS of having time to “talk with constituents” is that by the fall, the deadline for filing primary petitions will be over. Plus they will have another round of fundraising.

  6. Paul says

    My husband and I were in the gallery on Friday waiting for the vote to happen, there is no need for apology. Your hard work is truly appreciated. Let’s all learn from this and move forward and do what it takes to get the work done!

  7. Pigs says

    Blah, blah, blah, blah. ACTION speaks louder than words. These are the same people that said just last week that they had the votes and that they would vote on it before the session ended, and look what happened. Tired of empty promises.

  8. Edward says

    Let’s just hope that no one who is one half of a gay couple and wants to get married dies in the next few months. But I guess they can just do it in another state until then. No big deal.

  9. m says

    The senate needs to think of the economic benefits of marriage equality to the state as a whole. starting with all the extra business from catering, restaurants, hotels, entertainment, clothing, gifts, and marriage licenses etc. more employees would be hired to meet the demand, and these employees spend money and pay taxes. Married couples often start families. They buy a lot of stuff like houses, furniture, cars, baby furniture, baby clothing, baby food, toys. Gay families are going to help solve the state’s economic problems so helping gay couples marry makes sense. Senators we are your stimulus program and it won’t cost you any money. Are you listening? Marriage equality has zero cost to the state and brings money in. So gay marriage = net gain. Yay! Gays save the day.

  10. m says

    seriously they need to have enough courage to bring the bill for a vote and then do a roll call. do they have the courage to stand up and do the right thing?

  11. says

    Damn gays, getting so uppity instead of being good little lap dogs for the Democrats. They didn’t bring it to a vote because they wanted to cover the asses of their party members who refused to vote for equality.

    The Democrats have hidden who was and wasn’t supporting the measure from the community. Only they were allowed to know what was going on, which meant the community couldn’t respond and do lobbying outside their anointed leaders–at least not effectively. At best they had to guess who was and wasn’t supporting it. Hiding the vote means we still don’t know who to contact or who to oppose in election campaigns.

    Once again the “gay leaders” have decided to put the Democratic party ahead of the LGBT community.

  12. MCnNYC says

    Wow Andy Towle really is a shill for the Democratic Party!
    His Headline pretends that the “House Democrats” issued this but it was (mostly) the sponsors in the House and the Senate sponsor.
    I guess Andy Towle desnt want the gAyTM SHUT DOWN

  13. aaron says

    We just want our way! We demand the right to be miserable with one person for the rest of our lives! We’ll steam roll even people who have supported us to make it so!

  14. Big Easy says

    Don’t count on any economic boost from marriage tourism even if the bill passes. Existing Illinois law prohibits issuing a marriage license to out-of-state residents if the marriage would not be legal in their home state. As far as I can tell, that provision in the law is unchanged in the bill. My partner and I had been hoping to tie the knot in Chicago surrounded by friends and family but it looks like it will be Iowa instead. Big disappointment.

  15. Bill Perdue says

    The problem in Illinois is a problem caused by Democrats, not by Blacks (by which I mean the black population of Illinois). Certainly Black cult leaders contributed to it but our main enemy in Illinois, as elsewhere, is white or Euroamerican bigots in the roman, baptist, mormon and evangelical cults and the Democrats and Republicans who pander to them.

    Blacks are no more responsible for this defeat than they were for the 2008 defeat in California. We were defeated in California in 2008 by Obama, not the black community. He attended Rick Warrens bigotfest and announced that he was a bigot who opposed marriage equality because ‘gawd’s in the mix’. He said the same on MTV “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about.” He opposed Prop 8 on the grounds that it wasn’t necessary. No on 8. EQCA and other Democrats refused to call him on his bigotry but Yes on 8 went to town rebroadcasting his remarks in hundreds of ads and hundreds of thousands of robocalls. The polls, which has been in our favor, flipped and we lost unnecessarily and unexpectedly.

    The problem is Democrats. Even if every black legislator voted for us we’d still lose because of Republicans and downstate Democrats.

    The US is a sewer of bigotries and the most enduring and harmful is racism, followed by misogyny, homophobia and, during periods of immigration, immigrant bashing.

    A big part of the problem is that GLBT Democrats and Democrats in general pander to the cults by letting them fester in communities of people of color and in the social group that hold our largest number of enemies – white cultists in the roman, baptist and mormon cults. In California the largest numerical vote against us was among EuroAmerican bigots influenced by the cults. Eurocentric LGBT leaders of the Democrat run EQCA and No on 8 ignored the black and Latino/a communities who are, when combined with Asians and Pacific Islanders, the majority in California.

    The central lesson to be drawn from this is that both parties are infested with bigots and that we need to leave them in the dust and build mass action alliances to coerce legislators to adopt our agenda. The secondary lesson is that the GLBT communities are multiethnic and that as long as Democrats and state equality groups refuse to fight for equality in every community we stand a chance of being defeated.

  16. JONES says

    @Bill Perdue
    So in your mind a 100% opposition by Republicans is offset by a 25% opposition from a specific Democrat bloc.

    The bill didn’t ‘fail’. It was never brought to vote in the House. This ‘no vote’ happened because of political agendas being played out between Madigan & Quinn. The public and press outcry over this was heard and the bill was then rescheduled.

    Please take note that at no time did a responsible Republican step forward with support.

    Illinois equality will pass before the end of August and when it does please be sure you’re back here to comment on how helpful the Republican Party was.

  17. Truthseeker says

    Where is Michael J. Madigan’s apology? This is entirely the failure of leadership–by the Democratic Party Chairman, who also happens to be the Speaker of the Illinois General Assembly. He is entirely responsible for this fiasco. Can’t wait to hear what his daughter, Lisa, has to say about this hot mess.

  18. MaryM says

    Not a single penny of LGBT money should go to the Illinois Democrats until this passes.

    Their refusal to identify the extremist Deemocrats who support apartheid against us is inexcusable.

    F*** you Democrats – at least we KNOW the Republicans are bigots. Democrats are too cowardly to identify their Christian Talibanic members.

  19. MaryM says

    Not a single penny of LGBT money should go to the Illinois Democrats until this passes.

    Their refusal to identify the extremist Deemocrats who support apartheid against us is inexcusable.

    F*** you Democrats – at least we KNOW the Republicans are bigots. Democrats are too cowardly to identify their Christian Talibanic members.

  20. LincolnLounger says

    @JONES: Please take note that at no time did a responsible Republican step forward with support.

    Illinois equality will pass before the end of August and when it does please be sure you’re back here to comment on how helpful the Republican Party was.

    Sorry, but you’re wrong. The Republican U.S. Senator for Illinois, Mark Kirk, and the Illinois Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka both supported marriage equality along with the State GOP Chairman and two of the few Republican State Reps.

    It will NOT pass this fall. Too many Democrats fear a primary election. Filing deadlines are not until December with a Spring primary in 2014. This thing is dead until after the 2014 primary.

    Try to get your facts straight or stop getting in the middle of things you don’t understand.

  21. Bill Perdue says

    @ Jones, both parties are infested with bigots. Not recognizing that is an invitation to disaster.

    Opposition to Democrat bigots is not the same as support for Democrat bigots.

    Democrats are Republicans in drag.

  22. JONES says

    @Lincoln Lounger
    Amazing how easily you delude yourself about GOP support for LGBT equality. Few GOP reps? How about two out of forty seven. Both recently evolved. State GOP chair Brady was ousted after siding with marriage equality. Current chair is too cowardly to open his mouth.

    Kirk, also very recently evolved, is a
    US Senator and has no state vote. He is one of only 2 GOP US Senators that have ‘evolved’. That’s 2 out of 45.

    The only Republican on your massive list of supporters with a decent history on equality is Judy Baer Topinka. Unfortunately she also won’t be voting.

    That boils down to 2 Reps and 1 Senator in the State legislature, 3 out of 66. That’s 4.5% of the elected GOPers in Illinois that support equality. This you celebrate and boast about.

    While I thank these antipartydogma bravehearts for their support and wish them continued evolution it’s not difficult for anyone but the diehard LCR & GOProuders to recognize that the religious fundamentalist embracing Republicans are the true roadblock to LGBT equality in Illinois and the rest of this country.

    Delude yourself all you want. I fully expect to see you back here with your new GOP apologist babble when marriage equality passes in Illinois this summer.

  23. JONES says

    @Bill Perdue
    Support whomever you wish. Both parties have issues but on the issue of LGBT equality there is no contest as to which US political party leads and which party lags.
    Thr GOP lost all credibility when they embraced the anti gay animus of smarmy Ralph Reed and the Southern Christian Coalition.

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