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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Illinois LGBT leaders, allies press Rauner on marriage
From a press release
2014-06-01

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CHICAGO, IL — As Illinois celebrates the official commencement of marriage equality today, dozens of LGBT leaders and allies called out Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner for his public opposition to marriage equality. The LGBT leaders signed on to an open letter, proclaiming "we know the real Bruce Rauner. His administration would very likely be working behind-the-scenes to block new legislation and erode the existing laws protecting our families."

At a Tea Party gathering in Quincy in November 2013, Bruce Rauner let his view on marriage equality be known and said "they haven't approved it in a referendum, so if I were governor I would veto."

"Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, claims to be a social moderate. In public and in the media, he claims not to "have a social agenda" and that "it doesn't matter" how he feels about marriage equality. Rauner can't have it both ways. A real leader takes a stand," the letter states. "If he had been Governor, the many couples across Illinois who today are celebrating new families would still be relegated to a second-class legal status."

Notable supporters signing the letter include: Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov, Equality Illinois Founder Art Johnston, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, State Representative Ann Williams, Howard Brown Health Center President David Munar and Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Director Jim Bennett.

"The record is clear: LGBT couples and their families will not be welcome in Bruce Rauner's Illinois. All of us, friends and family alike, must remember who really stands with the LGBT community this November," the letter concludes.

Letter, June 1, 2014:

Throughout the campaign for marriage equality, we heard the stories of LGBT couples across Illinois — couples from all walks of life, couples with children, couples who had been together for decades. Those couples wanted to be able to care for and protect their families through marriage.

A robust debate occurred last year over whether all Illinois couples and families should be treated equally and with dignity under the law. Today, as we celebrate the official commencement of the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, we honor those officials who stood for freedom and equality.

We also remember those public figures, like Bruce Rauner, who chose the side of bigotry and intolerance.

Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor, claims to be a social moderate. In public and in the media, he claims not to "have a social agenda" and that "it doesn't matter" how he feels about marriage equality.

Rauner can't have it both ways. A real leader takes a stand. But we now know how he really feels. Last year at a Tea Party gathering in Quincy, he had this to say about marriage equality: "They haven't approved it in a referendum, so if I were governor I would veto."

Rauner opposes the freedom to marry. If he had been Governor, the many couples across Illinois who today are celebrating new families would still be relegated to a second-class legal status. Bruce Rauner, as he said in Quincy, has no problem with that.

We know the real Bruce Rauner. His administration would very likely be working behind-the-scenes to block new legislation and erode the existing laws protecting our families.

Just look at the GOP "top of the ticket" and the elected officials Rauner surrounds himself with, like running mate Evelyn Sanguinetti and U.S. Senate candidate Jim Oberweis, both of who strongly oppose the freedom to marry, LGBT family adoption rights and other legal protections. Moreover, he has given tens of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBT candidates throughout our state.

The record is clear: LGBT couples and their families will not be welcome in Bruce Rauner's Illinois. All of us, friends and family alike, must remember who really stands with the LGBT community this November.

Sincerely,

Bernard Cherkasov, CEO, Equality Illinois

Art Johnston, Founder of Equality Illinois

Jim Bennett, Midwest Regional Director, Lambda Legal

Jeremy Gottschalk, Chair, Equality Illinois PAC

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy

State Rep. Ann Williams

John Kohlhepp, Campaign Manager, Illinois Unites for Marriage

David Munar, President & CEO, Howard Brown Health Center

Anthony Martinez, Executive Director, Civil Rights Agenda

Alyx S. Pattison, Candidate, Second Ward Alderman

Nancy Kohn

Jacob Meister

John Peller

Keith Kelleher

Ray Koenig

Sarah Schmidt

Lynda DeLaforgue

Debra Bernard

David Jablonowski

Kevin Boyer

Robert Hoeppner

Ian Gray

Peter Johnson

Jeanne Kracher

Laura McAlpine

Claire Alshuler

Melinda Dunker

Mary Morten

Pat Ewert

Dalila Fridi

Jeff Souva

Michael Garzel

Frank Walker

Mandi Hinkley

Zoa Norman

Doug Ferguson

Chip Howard

Willard Dumas III

Kitty Kurth

Robert Newhart

Robert Ollis

Dave Lowitzki

Anders Lindall

Jordan Heinz

MK Czerwiec

Matthew Zaradich

Kyle Hillman

John Litchfield

Charles Watkins

Camilla Taylor

Jason Burch

Art Friedson

Nicole Bashor

Cynthia Homan

Kennette Crockett

Jacquelyn Haas

Kay Miles

Deb Murphy

Barbara Provus

Frederick Wackerle

Sharon Webber

Claudia Mosier

Jennifer and Leslie Henry

Gail Morse

Shirley Baugher

Norman Baugher

View letter at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/pdf/6.1.14EQILletter.pdf .


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