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Letters: Future support; Blacks and Prop 8
2008-11-19

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For future reference

Many of us are still catching our breath after this year's historic election. Yet it is not too early to begin thinking about the election in 2010, particularly in light of the heart-breaking repudiation of equal marriage rights in Florida, Arizona and California. Potential candidates for governor in Illinois have already begun to raise money and line up supporters. We believe that the wisest course for the LGBT community at this point is to wait and see who the candidates are. At that point, we will be able to compare the candidates' positions to determine who will champion LGBT issues. Most crucially, we should make clear that we expect our endorsed candidate to unequivocally support full marriage equality. No longer should we accept candidates who attempt to straddle the fence by opposing marriage equality while supporting civil unions.

A pop star can get married to a total stranger at an all-night chapel in Las Vegas, but two same-sex partners who have lived together in a loving and committed relationship for decades cannot. Illinois law currently states that same-sex marriage is against the public policy of the state. We need a governor who will not only lead the fight to repeal that law, but will also lead the fight to guarantee equal marriage rights for all Illinois citizens. There will be candidates for governor who will want and need the support of our community. Making a premature endorsement would compromise our ability to make candidates earn our support. Only by standing with us on one of the most significant civil-rights issues in a generation should a candidate be entitled to claim the support of the community.

Sincerely,

Clyde Alpert; Gregory & Michael Anderson; Kendra Beard; Philip P. Burgess; Cathie Calderon; Robert Castillo & John Pennycuff; Char Cepek; John Cepek; Terry Cosgrove; James C. Darby; W. Graunk Enzenberger; Rick Garcia; John A. Heintz; Art Johnston & Pepe Pena; Rev. Deborah Lake; James P. Madigan; Gregory E. Ostfeld; Aurora Pineda; Patrick Sheahan; Rev. Stan J. Sloan; Coco Soodek; Philip A. Terbay; Modesto Valle; John Geno Zaharakis

Blacks and Prop 8

Thank you for the perspective provided in your column ( Tracy Baim, "Reap What We Sow," Nov. 12 ) . Yes, I had heard that most Black voters in California supported Prop 8. In fact, Rush Limbaugh gloated about that fact. But you are one of the few people to point out that Blacks make up only a small percentage of the electorate.

Your column reminded me about a Prop 8 discussion that was held at a local law firm recently. One speaker did mention that a lot of Blacks supported the measure. But another claimed that the gay community did not work hard enough to get out the vote. Another said gay activists have not figured out how to persuade other groups that LGBT issues affect them as well.

As a Black male living on the South Side, I know some Blacks are very homophobic. I have hope that the Blacks who voted for Prop 8 would change their minds if they get more information about the issue.

Sincerely,

Michael Marsh


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