Tuesday, November 5, 2013

EXTRA: History, or Illinois’ lack of political backbone on display?

It seems that Illinois will barely qualify as being amongst the top third of the states of the United States that decided to go forward in striking down the state laws that made it clear marriages between gay couples were not legitimate.

QUINN: His turn to act
Illinois would like to think it is some sort of progressive place. Yet in the end, both Iowa and Minnesota beat the Land of Lincoln to the punch in approving a measure that permitted marriage as an option (rather than just civil union) for gay people.

AND OVERALL, ILLINOIS is 15th (out of 50) in terms of approving the concept – which once Gov. Pat Quinn puts his signature to the bill will strike down the law the then-Republican-dominated General Assembly enacted in 1996 that specified that marriage between gay couples was completely unacceptable in Illinois.

Do you want a sports analogy? It’s kind of like the integration of Major League Baseball, where the Chicago White Sox were the fifth ball club overall (out of 16 in existence back then) that took on black ballplayers.

The White Sox may be better than the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals or Philadelphia Phillies – but they’re not anything to brag about in that regard.

Although I suppose it could have been worse. Illinois could have let this issue linger on a few more years and we could have wound up being something like 40-somethingth in terms of approving the issue.

I DO FEEL for anyone who winds up someday getting married in whichever state winds up being 50th of the 50 states to implement it. Because those public officials probably will take pride in being last and will probably behave in ways that the anti-abortion activists do – they push for all kinds of restrictions to make it next to impossible for a woman to actually get an abortion.

MAYFIELD: She was "present"
In terms of the politics, it is intriguing that the reports starting creeping out of the Statehouse on Monday that Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, was picking up the telephone and calling certain legislative colleagues to put the pressure on them to quit being wishy-washy on the issue.

The 61 Illinois House members who voted for the issue probably include a few who wish they could have voted “present” (only two did).

As it turns out, there were only three Republicans who went for the idea – including former House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego, who apparently wants urban votes in his bid to become Illinois treasurer in next year’s election cycle.
SMITH: "P" vote adds to legacy

HE’LL NEED THEM, because the rhetoric already is spouting out from opponents of the concept who are determined to dump those supportive legislators come the March primary elections. The Illinois Review website that likes to tout conservative causes couldn’t wait to publish a copy of the roll call for Illinois Senate Bill 10 – just so we’d know who the evildoers are!

Personally, I think state Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, is typical of the fence-sitting. I haven’t talked to him on Tuesday, so I don’t know what exactly went through his mind.

But he’s a guy who started out the year saying he definitely supported the idea. But as a member of the Black Caucus, he got a lot of the pressure from assorted African-American ministers who wanted him to oppose.

He was publicly supportive of the notion of delaying a vote as long as possible. But in the end, he turned out to be a “Yes” vote on Tuesday – just like he originally said he would be.

MADIGAN: Could he be active earlier?
THE FACT THAT it took so long to resolve, but got settled quickly once Madigan inserted his presence, makes me wonder why he couldn’t have done this back in the spring.

It could have been resolved then, and we could have averted an entire summer’s worth of nonsense rhetoric that I’m sure has inflamed the matter all the more – and may have even created a sense of distrust between the gay rights activists and those who back African-American interests.

Was it worth it?

Or perhaps this is the issue that shows all this talk about “blue” states and Illinois being so far gone to the left is just a bunch of nonsense.


No comments: