Illinois Likely to Be Next to Recognize Gay Marriage

Fine, I admit it. I'm only in it for the cake.Credit: Amy Walters, Dreamstime.comThe Illinois State Senate voted 34-21 this week to legally recognize same-sex marriage. If the legislation passes the state House and is signed by the governor, Illinois will be the 10th state to recognize gay marriage.

Even though Democrats have a supermajority in the state House, the Chicago Tribune calls its passage “uncertain”:

As senators debated Thursday, Rep. Greg Harris, the lead House sponsor, stood among the desks on the Democratic side of the Senate chamber, sometimes adding a congratulatory slap on the back of a lawmaker who made an emotional speech.

Harris predicted success in the House but would not say whether he has lined up the necessary 60 votes to pass the measure. "I think we are very close to that," said Harris, D-Chicago, who is openly gay.

Another proponent working to round up votes in the House conceded there is still "some work to do." Gay marriage proponents also have a key ally in the House: Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, supports the bill, said spokesman Steve Brown.

Some Republican opponents are wishing Democrats would put this much effort into dealing with the state’s pension crisis. Via the Chicago Sun-Times:

But opponents slammed the Senate's Democratic leadership for allowing the gay-marriage initiative to move forward at a time when the state's financial ledgers are in ruin because of more than $95 billion in pension debt.

"The pension debt must be our No. 1 focus. You should be using the same energy and use your immense power to present a pension bill immediately," said Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Barrington Hills). "This marriage bill is a distraction, which is distracting attention from this state's top priorities."

That’s probably a bonus to the Democrats, not an unfortunate side effect. They’ve been miserable about addressing the pension crisis, but given that it’s Duffy’s own party fighting the legislation it’s a bit of an eye-rolling argument. I don’t object to obstructionist legislative behavior (even if I don’t like the particular reasons for it, as in this case), but you lose the ability to credibly argue that proposed legislation is eating up time when you’re part of the reason why.

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  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Barrington Hills is a hoity toity piece of shit.

  • TheIronSheik||

    So sick of these faggots distracting us from issues that matter.

  • CosmoBro||

    Tell 'em bro! Who do these queers think they are, wanting to have the same civil liberties as the rest of us?! Fuck them! Now, assault rifle ownership, that's a cause worth fightin' for!!!

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    State government pricks from places like Barrington Hills fight for shit like preventing a railroad from running as many trains as it wants to on tracks that it rightfully owns through their shitty snob ass town.

    http://www.joc.com/regulation-.....90518.html

  • fish_remote||

    Shut up mary.......

    Buy a vibrator for christs sake if you have time on your hands!

  • Matrix||

    These gay marriage initiatives are not focused on the real issue at hand... which is why the fuck is the government involved in marriage to begin with? But the more we start expanding marriage, the more we continue to ignore the real question. I'm all for marriage between any consenting adults, plural marriages included. But I do not think it is the government's right to involve itself in the process. This needs to be the issue that gay rights proponents should be focused on.

  • fried wylie||

    Up next: Business Marriage.

    Want to work? Better get married to your employer.

    Then Shopping marriage. Get married to any of the stores you shop at.

    Anyone who thinks 60+ govt issued licenses required to conduct day-to-day living is a burden obviously hates children and is probably an arab-russian terrorist.

    Statism, It's What's For Dinner!

  • ||

    Historically some of those things aren't so weird. Marriage and lateral adoption were often used to solidify political, trade and business relationships before romance became a reason and then the ONLY reason to get married.

  • Tonio||

    Most royal marriages were arranged for strategic outcome until very recently, so there's tons of precedent.

  • Metazoan||

    You're right, but I think the reason is that they have a higher chance of success just advocating gay marriage- adding in plural marriage could possibly destroy their support. That's just a guess, as while I have no issue with plural marriage, I imagine many people do... but I do agree that the government shouldn't be involved at all.

  • Sudden||

    Marriage is nothing but a contract. Govts have the responsibility to enforce contract law.

    Now, sadly government policy has essentially worn down the actual contractual relationship of marriage (no fault divorce and family courts essentially discriminate against the faithful and male parties, respectively, and provide incentive for fraud and breach without any damages being awarded, or even with damages being collected by the party responsible for fraud or breach). But as an enforcer of contracts, govt does have a role.

  • Tonio||

    This needs to be the issue that gay rights proponents should be focused on.

    That's so cutely disingenuous. Groups define their own aims and goals. It's hugely presumptuous for an outsider to define the needs of a group of which he is not a member.

    Like it or not the government IS involved in marriage. The fact that it shouldn't be won't make the issue go away, no matter how hard you pretend otherwise.

  • Ray||

    This seems to be the new bigot narrative; "why are we focusing on gay marriage instead of issues XYZ?" Same one they pulled in NY, and currently the UK (France, oddly, is still stuck on "teh gheyz wants to take ur childruns!1!").

    Populist bs that makes no sense when you think about it, but it clearly focus groups well among "soft" gay marriage supporters.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I am not so sure it is just a "bigot narrative" as pointing out that when the Donks want something done in IL, they can do it - their priorities just don't happen to lie with the $95 bazilion dollar hole they have (primarily, but not exclusively) dug us into.

  • Sudden||

    Govt recognition of the holy bonds of homosexual matrimony requires the existence of a functional govt in the first place. Given the breadth and scope of both Illinois' and the federal govt's fiscal insolvency, those institutions may cease to exist (at least in any recognizable form) within a generation. And the party that seems to be benefiting so much from the gay marriage issue is the one that is hellbent on destroying any modicum of fiscal realism and financial literacy. So it's reasonable to say that we ought to prioritize certain issues over others.

    I'm all or teh gheyz, but I'd sooner vote for a candidate who was willing to give me a budget that is 5% smaller next year than it is this year but is adamant about marriage being hetero-only than one who will give teh gheyz their marriages, but wants the govt budget to increase 5% next year.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I don't have a problem with gay marraige. I do think it's somewhat frustrating that the idea that maybe all of our relationship statuses (gay, straight, married, single, or whatever) is any of the governments business in the first place is just completely foreign to most of the populace. It would be nice to see anyone in the media at least ask those kind of questions.

  • T o n y||

    It doesn't have to be the government's business if you don't want it to be. It's not illegal to cohabitate with your girlfriend.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think this is going to spread quite rapidly now. Most states are not going to want to be on the back end of this now that the writing is clearly on the wall.

  • ChrisO||

    For there to be a top, somebody's got to be a bottom.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    More power to you for that remark.

  • Sudden||

    I'm still bearish on the prospects.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Next, in a totally unrelated and unforeseeable development, there will be suits against private businesses who refuse to provide wedding cakes, wedding photos, wedding chapels, etc. to same-sex couples. Libertarians will scratch their heads, asking "how did this happen?"

  • AlmightyJB||

    I believe that's already happening. I also think at some point you'll see preachers that won't peform gay marraiges either not be allowed to peform straight marraiges either and/or their churches will have their tax exempt statuses challanged. I think that will definately happen at some point.

  • ||

    It's happened in other countries, but those countries have state churches where orthodoxy can be dictated or at least highly pressured by the state. We've seen some adoption groups stop placing in states like MA because of state recognition for gay families, but they were explicitly operating as state contractors. Private adoption agencies kept trucking along just fine.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I suspect there will be a *little* more subtlety. As in Washington State, they will tell churches, "sure you have religious freedom, unless of course you rent wedding facilities for *money,* in which case you're a commercial enterprise and we'll force tolerance down your throat on penalty of damages, just as if you were an icky for-profit business!"

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    (Wow, I may actually have been right, see my link below)

  • Tonio||

    Well, according to the religionists, their church ceremonies are the only ones that matter anyway. And IIRC you're legally married when the license is issued, so the ceremony is just that.

    Also, as with the health care thing, a bright line has been drawn between purely religious organizations (ie, churches) and organizations which are not inherently religious (like a bakery or a craft store) that want to discriminate and claim (honestly or not) religious motivation for doing so.

  • ||

    That pisses me off. My friends think I'm crazy for saying they'd be better off leaving a nasty yelp review and moving on, and then wonder at the Chik-fil-A effect when the people refusing service "on Christian principle" have their businesses pick up.

  • Sudden||

    It hints at one of the issues I have with the gay marriage thing: in speaking with an intelligent and articulate lesbian friend of my wife's at one point, I brought up the legal argument that equal protection is a poor court rationale for same sex marriage (I, a heterosexual, am similarly restricted from marrying a man as a gay man is, therefore there is no denial on the basis of sexual orientation, but rather on the basis of sex), but rather that the courts should rigorously issue defense of same sex marriage as a right to contract implicit within the first amendment precedent for freedom of association.

    While she understood the legal rationale, she said that her community would largely be up in arms at such a decision, even though the judgement would uphold same-sex marriage. It's not about marriage or the bundle of rights per se that many care about (albeit that is a big part of it), but rather they want a sort of societal acceptance through govt recognition of inherent "equality".

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And the whole thing is being sold in many cases with anti-government rhetoric. "Why is the government saying who is and isn't married...OMG, that baker just refused us service, sue her!"

  • Sudden||

    Moreover, they want to force, compel, and coerce people into embracing their lifestyle. That frankly sickens me more than anything. Oscar Wilde said it best: Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

    Many so-called gay rights activists care more about forcing society and individuals to embrace their lifestyle than they do about actual rights. They seek to trample the rights of those who condemn homosexuality as sin (not a position I agree with or give a fuck about, but the right to believe stupid things is sacrosanct).

  • T o n y||

    How are you being asked to change your lifestyle in any way?

    If you don't want to "embrace" homosexuals, fine, live out the rest of your miserable life a silly old bigot. Nobody's gonna force you to get gay married, have gay sex, or even interact with gay people. This complaint is completely meaningless. What "rights" are you talking about being trampled?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Nobody's gonna force you to ... interact with gay people."

    If you believe that, you are a moron.

  • T o n y||

    The right of cranky old idiots to be bigots trumps the right of gay people to be treated as normal and equal in their society. Got it. If you want to claim that these rights are in conflict, then I'll tell you right now which side is going to lose.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So you're abandoning your claim that "Nobody's gonna force you to ... interact with gay people," or are you still a moron?

  • T o n y||

    Well, nobody's gonna force you to interact with gay people any more than you already have to. Not that there is some kind of right to have a certain radius around you free of types of people you don't like.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So..moron it is.

  • ||

    The "get the gov't out of marriage" argument seems to be a win for all sides of the issue, but nobody likes it because it doesn't advance their specific social agenda. When I argued that states should enforce contracts regardless of who was involved and churches could define marriage how they see fit, my mother panicked saying "but the homosexuals might make their own church that defined marriage as between a man and a man!"

    "Yes mom, that's how freedom of religion works, also that already happened in the '70s."

  • Sudden||

    One of the functional problems with that (although a tasty potential cure for that functional problem) is that marriage contracts are not exactly enforced in the way that any other business/economic contract would be. The advent of no-fault divorce and family courts have essentially removed the determination of who is in breach of contract or violated the terms of the contract and in many cases the penalty is actually paid by the person who honored the contract and damages awarded to the person in breach.

    If marriage contracts were no longer viewed in a separate light and treated with a different standard than other contracts, it would essentially remove the economic incentives for female-initiated divorce. Funny how there is actually a certain way of recognizing gay marriage that would actually STRENGTHEN traditional marriage instead of undermine it as conservative critics suggest.

  • ||

    I think there are a couple of ways gay marriage could be seen as strengthening "traditional"* marriage. Jonathan Rauch argues that exempting gay couples from access to the social institution of marriage creates a radical alternative role model for straight youths. We've already seen evidence of this where in France they created a less robust alternative for gays (domestic partnerships or something), which straight couples started doing instead of marriage. They were easier to enter into and easier to dissolve, which those couples found appealing. That option wouldn't have been there if not to protect marriage from gays.

    *"traditional" only extends back a generation or two. Romantic marriage, people choosing and courting their own partners, women being able to own property and several other major changes have significantly changed the texture of marriage over the past few hundred years.

  • Tonio||

    Bullshit, Sudden.

  • Sudden||

    Believe me, I'm as skeptical as anyone when someone claims to speak for an entire group, even one which they are a member of. But she nonetheless would not be sufficiently happy with a contract law basis that recognize gay marriage. Her view was that the only just legal doctrine was equal protection, and her rationale was not a legal one at all, but rather that she wanted the larger society's view to progress to acceptance of same sex unions.

    Tonio, you're clearly a libertarian, so I think the rights are more important to you than the societal embrace. But I'm not so sure that you are in the majority in that way.

  • Calidissident||

    You could have said the same thing when interracial marriage was legalized

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Sure, if you want private business owners with a traditional definition of marriage to be treated the same as interracial-marriage opponents.

    That's why there's a problem with your premise.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Sure, if you want private business owners with a traditional definition of marriage to be treated the same as interracial-marriage opponents.

    And that would be bad because ... ?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Because arbitrarily increasing the power of the government in order to enforce on particular vision of marriage on the private sector is...a bad thing?

  • T o n y||

    Individuals get married. How come you guys are incapable of seeing things through a social lens except when it comes to gay marriage? What's "a vision of marriage"?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Individuals bake cakes, take wedding photographs, and run wedding pavillions.

  • T o n y||

    We could treat the freedom to choose who to serve as an entirely separate issue from the freedom for gays to marry. Or, we could treat them as in conflict.

    In the latter case, I'm on the side of civil equality, and the bigots can go to hell. So how about we do the former?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    So you're abandoning your claim that "Nobody's gonna force you to ... interact with gay people," or are you still a moron?

  • T o n y||

    Read what I said. We can think of it in two ways. There's the right of gays to have equality under the law with respect to marriage. Then there's the right of Christian morons to run their businesses as small-minded idiots. If they're two entirely separate issues, then we can debate them separately. If you want to claim they're in conflict, then I'm forced by pragmatism to side with the gays, since it's a better society in which gays are tolerated instead of bigots.

    But I really think they are two separate issues.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Either it's a bad thing in both cases, or it's a bad thing in neither.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Perform. How do I miss that twice.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I looked up the statute, and it seems that businesses, even operated by religious organizations, may be forced to provide same-sex marriages on the same terms as opposite-sex ones. Check this out:

    "(a-10) No church, mosque, synagogue, temple, nondenominational ministry, interdenominational or ecumenical organization, mission organization, or other organization whose principal purpose is the study, practice, or advancement of religion is required to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. An entity identified in this subsection (a-10) shall be immune from any civil, administrative, criminal penalty, claim, or cause of action based on its refusal to provide religious facilities for the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony of a marriage if the solemnization ceremony or celebration associated with the solemnization ceremony is in violation of its religious beliefs. As used in this subsection (a-10), "religious facilities" means sanctuaries, parish halls, fellowship halls, and similar
    facilities. *"Religious facilities" does not include facilities such as *businesses,* health care facilities, educational facilities, or social service agencies.*" [emphasis added]

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    http://www.ilga.gov/legislatio.....&Session;=

    (But there's also language that the bill doesn't contract or expand rights of religious freedom or rights under the state civil rights law, so I don't know how that will be resolved)

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Science bless you, Shackford, for phrasing the title of your post more correctly than most.

  • Scott S.||

    The joys of being a gay libertarian.

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