Comments

  1. KT says

    I have to say, Harris looks kind of shifty/nervous in that video. I think there is a lot more to this vote than meets the eye. i think the black caucus was set up to take the fall over the lack of a vote. But if the head of the caucus thought they should have brought it to a vote, it doesn’t really seem like it (he would know his own caucus members between than Harris or the speaker). Some are saying since the speaker’s daughter is running for governor, the speaker is trying to take away victories from Governor Quinn. And Harris directly blamed Quinn for calling for a vote. Interesting.

  2. JONES says

    F**king Illinois politics.
    The slimy underbelly of all the evils in politics gets revealed here.
    Using human rights like pawns in a chess game.

    Madigan looks pretty despicable in this.
    Organized religion as always has it’s bloodied hands in the mix.
    And just as culpable as these backhall dealings was the non participation by the LGBT community. Black, white, or purple your efforts were minimal and not very public. They were mailed in.

  3. Bingo says

    Pretty clear that the activists are not very good vote counters/lobbyists. If they had had the necessary one-on-one conversations in advance, they would know how the vote would go, who remained open to persuasion, what the margin would be.

    No amount of community mobilization can take the place of a personal conversation. Other states have done this.

  4. candideinnc says

    Two of the twenty in the Black caucus supported us, but it isn’t their fault it failed? By my math, that means 18 Black Democrats care more about Bible thumping superstitious Baptist snake handlers than the civil rights of gays. This isn’t a racial issue. It is a political and religious issue. And frankly, to me, it is obvious the Black caucus isn’t our friend. Sure, the sponsors of the bill may have been inept or corrupt. But they shouldn’t have needed to twist arms of a minority group who has faced terrible discrimination to support the civil rights of another group.

  5. Ken says

    So basically everyone says it’s someone else’s fault, so we have no idea who to blame at at election time. If they had actually taken a vote, we would know who was to blame! The biggest betrayal here is not that it didn’t pass, but that our so called allies in the Illinois House leadership didn’t even allow it to come to a vote.

  6. Caliban says

    It’s a huge mistake to turn this into a Gay vs Black thing, which is exactly what NOM would like for us to do. By all means criticize the loud-mouthed and theocratic black ministers who lobbied against this, AND the spineless Black Caucus members who were too wimpy to stand up to them, but the only way forward is to do MORE outreach to the black community itself, bypassing them both.

    Black gays and allies are going to have to step up to the plate on this one too because otherwise it gets mis-characterized as white gays “telling them what to do.” You really refuse to step up as an activist yourself then turn around and blame those who DO step up and accuse THEM of being “racist” because they’re white and more black people aren’t involved.

    But lets keep the real blame where it belongs, on the bigoted and intransigent Republican party and the churches, black AND white!

  7. candideinnc says

    Sam–Let me suggest that one way to get support for our cause is to shame the Democrats who failed to support our cause into doing the right thing. And the first way to do that is to identify who the a-holes are.

  8. says

    Sam is right. Going forward it’s about getting the votes that weren’t there this time, and that means reaching out to and lobbying the Black caucus and Republicans. And assuring the reluctant Yes votes that if they support equality, they will be supported in the next election. Finger pointing is inevitable after such a major failure, especially given that success was promised, but it doesn’t do anything to secure the votes needed this coming November. Time to channel that anger in smarter ways.

  9. nn says

    Am I the only one who thought it was a good decision to wait to vote in November. Since they did not have enough votes?

    Now they still have achances to get married equality in 2013. If they did not have enough votes, theywould had to started from the beginning and the bill had to be approved and voted on in the house again. We now have a real opportunity to achieve the goal.

    the various organizations should also begin to better communicate With each other and agree on the best tactics to achieve marriage equality under the law – for all

  10. Joe says

    Apparently, the reason they are waiting until November is because it’s AFTER the nominating petitions are filed for the subsequent races. This gives politicians in more conservative districts more leeway to vote yes. I think a lot of the frustration about the the failure to vote yesterday came from raised expectations and the the thought that it would easily pass. Now we know that we can’t sit back and assume it’s getting done by politicians in Springfield. We all have to get involved.

  11. Tim says

    This quote from Ford in the Phoenix article, “What happened is that we had democracy at its best and the people spoke and their representatives listened.”

    Is that really what happened? Will we ever really know? Were there really not enough phone calls / visits? (I know about the differences in the demonstrations.)

    Also, from the Phoenix:

    “In addition, Dunkin said marriage equality is not a civil rights issue and marriage equality advocates may have offended black lawmakers when they equated the two.”

    It seems there is disagreement within that community. I’ve heard some say it is. No one group has a monopoly on “civil rights”. We may have been on different paths to get them, but they are for all of us. And since they’re for all of us, comparisons are futile. It is in this that we can appreciate each group’s unique histories to get those same “civil rights”.

  12. THAT says

    Somebody’s lying.

    But Harris….tears? Quavering voice? Where is the anger? Where is the passion? Where is the willingness to rip balls off? THAT is what was missing. And THAT is why there isn’t marriage equality in Illinois this morning.

  13. Rick says

    “Don’t blame the Black Caucus. The Black Caucus has always been with us and so have the Latinos,” Garcia said. “They are just using the black people as an excuse.”

    Stupid liberals. They got what they deserved.

    “Outreach” to black politicians on gay issues never works–only playing hardball with them does. Meaning, the governor and the Speaker and white Democrats need to make it clear to them that if they want any part of THEIR agenda addressed, they need to vote for same-sex marriage.

    Otherwise, they never will, given the rampant homophobia among their constituents (and themselves).

    It really is that simple.

  14. Peter M. says

    “In addition, Dunkin said marriage equality is not a civil rights issue and marriage equality advocates may have offended black lawmakers when they equated the two.”

    WTF?!!!?
    And this coming from a co-sponsor of the bill. No wonder it failed. Illinois Dems are a joke, a very bad one.

  15. JONES says

    The more you look at this the more apparent it become that the political machinations in the House leadership is what was at fault.

    It passed easily in the Senate 34-21.
    Quinn called for a House vote repeatedly yet it never even made the floor in the House. Why? Madigan’s excuse was that it didn’t have the votes. If it didn’t have the votes, then show us who was not on board either by their voice in interview or BY THEIR VOTE but not just by your say so. Anyone opposing this should have been on record and available to the public to see for the past three months. Why is Madigan covering for any detractor? Sorry but I don’t buy that as a practice or an excuse.

    Stalling the vote til November, who does that benefit? Again Madigan

  16. Justin says

    Why not blame the Black Caucus? At least 75% of the Black Caucus refused to support the party platform. If 75% of the Democrats in the House refused to support African American issues, who do you think would be blamed? The LGBT community has spent countless sums of money and hours supporting the Democratic Party in Illinois. They failed us this time. At least, we have the ACLU and Lambda working for us in the courts.

  17. Michaelandfred says

    This is very much like the filibuster. Just call it in and nobody has to put their necks out. I’m guessing if there had been a vote, it would have passed. This isn’t ten or even five years ago. A democrat who votes against equality now will face incredible backlash and they know it. Any no votes that had promised a yes would have been doubly vilified.

    So they threatened and Harris caved.

  18. JONES says

    ‘Blame the Black Caucus.’

    Why? How do you know?
    Until they actually vote it’s only hearsay. It’s finger pointing without proof.

    Calling out black CLERGY whenever they are on record against equality is absolutely valid. Same as calling out white clergy for their bigotry. Religious indoctrination is NOT a valid excuse in a civil society.

  19. ChristopherM says

    When I first heard about this story, I thought, “I would bet my house that Rick is on Towleroad blaming black folks.” So predictably stupid.

  20. says

    @Rick–“outreach” doesn’t exclude playing hardball and applying pressure. It’s not like they’ll be passing out rainbows. And,yes, outreach does work–as any seasoned political player knows–whether to black Democrats (who’ve been on our side far more than not elsewhere) or white Republicans (whose record is far worse than all other groups combined), who were reachable in places like NH during the failed repeal attempt (stupid teabaggers) when the outreach was smarter than it was in Illinois.

  21. Andrew says

    Only people to blame are the people who are against same-sex marriage, simple as that.

    And they should have had the vote because allowing these cowards to hide behind closed doors doesn’t help the situation. If we were about to lose 12 “yes” votes because they wanted to throw a hissy fit, tell the media who they are. You may piss these legislators off a whole lot, but they’ll be more pissed when they have to face off against someone more liberal than they are in a Democratic primary because of their own actions.

  22. MateoM says

    Alan Brickman and Rick are aliases of the same person. From now on can we just ignore him, please? Let him spout off whatever racist nonsense he wants. So long as we exclude him, he’ll eventually get bored of this and go away.

  23. Belthazar says

    @Chi – that doesn’t fit the convenient narrative so that won’t be addressed. All Illinoisans know what it is like once you get too far south of I-80, particularly with this issue. As you stated, Harris simply did not have the Downstate Dems votes — period!

  24. Tom says

    Thayer has it right in blaming Madigan. I don’t follow Garcia’s logic at all. He’s blaming gay fundraisers like Fred Eychaner for this? You need to have money invested in fights like this. You need to have lobbyists and you need to have media. You need grassroots efforts IN ADDITION, not in lieu of the lobbying and the media. You need both sides of the equation. That is what has worked so well in NY, RI, DE and MN.

    Does Garcia think that there was some effort to tell gay people not to call their reps adn not to demonstrate and to just let Fred Eychaner handle everything? Of course not. Garcia strikes me as erratic and impulsive and is probably part of the problem.

  25. Martin Pal says

    A portion from the Illinois Observer:

    “House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned to extend the bill’s approval date until August 31.

    Were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation. If Gov. Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, House Speaker Madigan himself could call a special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted.

    “It’s a fascinating move,” said one, long-time lobbyist. “It suggests that there is plan to get it done.”

  26. Martin Pal says

    A portion from the Illinois Observer:

    “House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned to extend the bill’s approval date until August 31.

    Were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation. If Gov. Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, House Speaker Madigan himself could call a special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted.

    “It’s a fascinating move,” said one, long-time lobbyist. “It suggests that there is plan to get it done.”

  27. Martin Pal says

    A portion from the Illinois Observer:

    “House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned to extend the bill’s approval date until August 31.

    Were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation. If Gov. Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, House Speaker Madigan himself could call a special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted.

    “It’s a fascinating move,” said one, long-time lobbyist. “It suggests that there is plan to get it done.”

  28. Martin Pal says

    A portion from the Illinois Observer:

    “House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) acted quietly on Friday night before the House adjourned to extend the bill’s approval date until August 31.

    Were Governor Pat Quinn to call lawmakers back to Springfield in the summer for a special session to address pension reform, which also was left without resolution, he could include Senate Bill 10 in a special session proclamation. If Gov. Quinn declines to include marriage equality in any order to lawmakers to return to Springfield, House Speaker Madigan himself could call a special session of his own at the same time to take up the legislation, an insider noted.

    “It’s a fascinating move,” said one, long-time lobbyist. “It suggests that there is plan to get it done.”

  29. MCnNYC says

    A lot of BS going around BUT DUNKIN can’t have it both ways.
    A “Black Caucus” organizes itself specifically for political purposes.
    This Black Caucus feels it needs to be a caucus within their Democratic Party. Now when the State Democratic Party endorses legislation one can argue the leadership whips the votes.
    It’s politics.
    If the Democratic Black Caucus refuses to support this CIVIL RIGHTS LEGISLATION on their own particular religious theories and perhaps need to get other votes within the Republican membership then Democrats MUST support those yes votes and NOT SUPPORT those who did not vote on the issue.

  30. Chitown kev says

    No, firing Rick Garcia was a big part of the problem and after all that he did for LGBT Illinoisians, I don’t blame hime for still being a little bitter.

  31. Alfonso D says

    MassResistance’s material exposing how the de facto permission for gay marriage in Massachusetts had the effect of justifying a normalization of homosexuality in public schools without notice to or consent of parents does the job of demonstrating that legalization of gay marriage does not merely provide equality or equal access for gay couples but also attempts enforcement of a broad public acceptance of homosexuality itself – marriage bills need to explicitly counter this by proscribing the application of gay marriage to social policies outside the parameter of matrimony and stunts like unfurling flags in the assembly hall only enforce that stereotype that homosexuals behave like terrible children or bullies instead of adults who present reasonable debate to convince legislators not intimidate them to vote – ultimately if the federal government recognizes civil unions to have the access to the same benefits and protections of marriage – then the rationale for gay marriage evaporates unless a wider social agenda exists

  32. One of the CA 36,000 says

    @Alfonso D: So what you’re proposing is “separate but equal”.

    Have you completely forgotten that “separate but equal” is UNCONSTITUTIONAL?!?!? See Brown v Board of Education.

    And to change all marriages to “civil unions” requires modifications to volumes and volumes of civil laws, tax code, etc. It’s unworkable and stupid.

    Marriage is, and ALWAYS HAS BEEN, a civil, legal concept. Religion has corrupted the concept of marriage and allowed churches to confuse “marriage” with “wedding”.

    Look, trolls: NO ONE is forcing anyone to sit and watch two icky homosexuals get married. Marauding same-sex couples in matching white tuxedos won’t be rushing the altar at your preferred House of Worship and making the officiant marry them at gunpoint. All we want are the equal rights that we are supposed to be entitled to as law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of the United States. If mass murderers can get married in jail, why can’t non-murdering gays and lesbians?!?!?

  33. steve talbert says

    Rick Garcia is a great lobbyist and spearheaded Civil Unions. His statements aren’t that the Black Caucus is to blame, he specifically says that that is what people are going to mistakenly believe when the fault lies in not having the outreach to all communities from the beginning. The fault is with Madigan, because in Illinois the house speaker is everything. Some politicians wanted to wait until the primary petition deadline was over in the fall and so that they can fund raise more. They should have had the vote to see who stood up or fell off, but politicians act to protect them own,, no one else.

  34. LincolnLounger says

    Well, it won’t happen this fall either. Candidates will file in December for the 2014 elections. The “extended until August” thing is a charade. The African-American legislators are terrified of a primary, so the only real hope of getting this done will be after the spring 2014 primary.

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