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Marriage Equality Battle Not Over in Illinois

Marriage Equality

Marriage Equality (Photo credit: lez get real)

Brian Brown is publically screaming his head off claiming that the reason why so many marriage equality supporters were not there to vote on the legislation is because of pressure from his little group. Of course, Brown is already planning on trying to take down any Republicans who vote for the measure the way that the National Organization for Marriage did in New York where they managed to take out only one Republican who voted for same-sex marriage.

Brown stated in one of his hate filled rants masquerading as a fundraising pitch:

We’ve just received word that Illinois Democrats have canceled plans to vote on same-sex marriage this week, unable to secure enough support to guarantee passage. Publicly, they’re saying that it’s just because some of their supporters are out of town, but we are hearing that your pressure is part of the reason legislators don’t want to vote on this issue.

……

We are calling on all GOP donors to immediately stop funding to the Illinois GOP, and to let the party know that you will be withholding any future donations as long as Pat Brady is head of the party.

Instead, I would urge you to take those dollars that you would normally give to the Republican Party, and give them to NOM, or to one of the wonderful pro-family groups in Illinois fighting to defend marriage.

In addition to calling on Pat Brady to resign, NOM today pledged to form a brand new PAC, funded with $250,000 to defeat any Republican lawmakers who vote for same-sex marriage. Any Republican in Illinois who betrays the cause of marriage will be casting a career-ending vote and will be held accountable to their constituents.

Brown ignores the fact that it was not just the marriage equality bill that was put on hold until next Tuesday. Apparently, that memo got lost in the mail. The Illinois Senate has delayed a ban on assault weapons as well, and apparently all other business.

Meanwhile, The Civil Rights Agenda praised the move in the Senate Executive Committee to get the bill to the floor. Rick Garcia, Director of the Equal Marriage Illinois Project, praised the 8 to 5 vote saying “The Senate Committee did the right thing today and we look forward to the full Senate following their lead. For the first time in Illinois history, we had a vote on the recognition of same-sex marriages, and we won. This bill may come up for a vote next week and If everyone calls their Senator and shows their support, we will continue to win. It is now time for marriage equality advocates to contact their Senators immediately and urge them to vote yes on this legislation.”

The debate on the issue was heated in committee with same-sex couples testifying to the damage being done to their families by the lack of equal recognition under the law, and Catholic bishops continuing to maintain the standard attacks on marriage by claiming that same-sex marriage somehow undermined the sanctity of marriage and the family. Studies have shown that the lack of recognition of same-sex marriages hurts the children of same-sex couples.

Meanwhile, on 5 January, at noon, a coalition of LGBT rights groups will rally for marriage equality in Chicago. The Chicago Rally for Illinois Marriage Equality will take place at the State of Illinois Building.

Anthony Martinez, the Executive Director of TCRA stated “It is important that all advocates of marriage equality are engaged throughout the state. We hope that gathering folks together will energize them to action. Some legislators in Chicago are still hesitant to vote for this bill and we have to show them that the support is there for passage.”

Join The Impact, Chicago member Andrea Crain said “Illinois is ready for full marriage equality. Civil unions are a second-class status and we want to send a message that all Illinois citizens must be treated equally under the law.” Lair Scott of Queer Fest America said “We’re the home state of President Obama and Land of Lincoln and our voices must be heard.”

Same-sex marriage in Illinois has the support of President Barack Obama.

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