Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-10-19
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Marriage advocates wavering on vote timeline
Gay-marriage push may change course
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

It's a matter of strategy and not an issue of support, say advocates, but sponsors and leaders might wait to call for a vote on marriage equality until winter, despite promises to push for this fall.

John Kohlhepp, campaign manager for Illinois Unites for Marriage, told Windy City Times that leaders have their sights set on the fall veto session. But he added that the team is also debating holding off on a vote until January, a move that would give the bill an earlier effective date but might raise eyebrows among supporters who expected to see a vote sooner.

"Everything in our whole strategy is pushing for a vote in veto session," Kohlhepp said. But, he added, coalition leaders have not ruled out push during regular session.

If passed during the legislature's veto session, SB10, the marriage equality bill, would not take effect until June. But if sponsors pass it in January during regular session, it can go into effect the following month. That could mean fewer months of waiting for same-sex couples anxious to see marriage in Illinois.

Waiting on a vote, however, would be controversial. A shortfall of support in May that delayed a vote already sparked outcry and backlash against sponsors who opted to wait until the bill had votes rather than see it fail. Chief sponsor Rep. Greg Harris stated then that his colleagues assured him they would come ready to vote on the bill in November, during the legislature's veto session.

Harris has since repeatedly declined to give a timeline or vote count on the bill but said that growing support is sending the right message to lawmakers.

"People wanted to hear from their constituents, and they're hearing from their constituents," Harris said.

Following the May shortfall, the Illinois Unites coalition hired Kohlhepp to oversee the campaign. Kohlhepp then announced an ambitious strategy to pursue 71 votes ( it needs 60 to pass ) during veto session, a vote count that would allow sponsors to amend the effective date to earlier without waiting until January.

But despite months of organizing and hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into the campaign, not a single new lawmaker has come out for the bill publicly. That leaves room for many backers to pull support on the controversial vote, especially as lawmakers fear primary challenges over the bill.

Kohlhepp said that his campaign is designed to get the bill passed, and that it remains on track.

"I can say the program we built is incredibly strong," said Kohlhepp.

According to Kohlhepp, the consideration over waiting came in the wake of a video put out by the coalition that details one couple's dashed dreams over their inability to marry.

That video tells the story of Steven Rynes, whose wish to marry his partner Robert Smith, fell short when Rynes passed away. Kohlhepp said that story drove home the consequences of passing a bill that would have a later effective date. He denied that consideration to postpone a vote was a delay tactic as organizers struggle to pull in the final votes.

Still, organizers say their sights are set on veto session.

Jim Bennett, chair of the coalition and Midwest regional director for Lambda Legal, said he is uncomfortable with any revisions to the plan that do not include community input.

"My feelings are veto session," Bennett said. "When we left [the Capitol] on May 31, that was the promise that Greg's colleagues made to him, and that's what we're working toward. … It's always easier to push it down the road than it is to act … . I want the vote."

Rick Garcia, policy advisor for The Civil Rights Agenda, said his stance is that the bill should be called when it has the 60 votes it needs to pass, not before and not after.

"If the votes are not there, we don't call the bill," he said. "Call it when the votes are there."

Pressure will be on lawmakers to vote this fall, however.

A group of independent activists, including Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim, has organized a Springfield rally at noon on Oct. 22, the first day of veto session. The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality is expected to draw thousands, and it is aiming, at least in part, to hold feet the fire over promises made in May.

"The focus of the march is holding people accountable for what was said on the 31st [of May]," said Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Community Services and March co-chair. "This is also just a demonstration of the power of the LGBT community."

The Catholic Conference of Illinois has organized a response lobby day against the bill the following day. The "Defend Marriage Lobby Day" is sponsored by anti-gay organization the Illinois Family Institute.

The push for equal marriage in Illinois has gained momentum in recent weeks. A Cook County judge's refusal to dismiss lawsuits seeking marriage equality in Illinois has heartened LGBT activists in the state, and a positive ruling on equal marriage in New Jersey suggests a quickening national trend towards equal marriage.

In Illinois, the push is also bolstered by support from Illinois Chapter of American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations ( AFL-CIO ), which announced that it passed a resolution backing the bill.

"Gay and lesbian couples in Illinois shouldn't have to wait another moment to be afforded the tools they need to protect their families," said Michael Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, in a statement. "It is time we pass the freedom to marry for all."

Still, sponsors face high hurdles in passing the bill as the state continues to grapple with its pension crisis and reps. stare down primary elections. Those challenges have sponsors doubling down on a familiar old line. If you've called or written your legislator, Harris said, "It's time to call or write again."

See .

Also: .

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Relationships & the Law Today 2016-10-19 - The Illinois Supreme Court recently held in Blumenthal v. Brewer, 2016 IL 118781, that couples who are not married to each other have ...

Gay News

Former French justice minister on equality, division 2016-10-19 - Throughout one of the most unusual election campaigns in U.S. history, politicians and the media are singled out as chief among the causes ...

Gay News

Obergefell recalls marriage-equality fight 2016-10-19 - The Plaza Ballroom of downtown Chicago's Hyatt Regency Hotel was the setting for LGBTQ equality advocate Jim Obergefell to engage in an equally ...

Gay News

HRC's Municipal Equality Index details state of LGBTQ equality in 9 Illinois cities 2016-10-17 - WASHINGTON - Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation in partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, released its fifth annual Municipal ...

Gay News

Clinton addresses LGBT equality 2016-10-12 - Philadelphia Gay News ( PGN ) reached out to the Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to discuss ...

Gay News

Majority agrees trans Americans deserve job, public accommodations equality 2016-10-11 - SAN FRANCISCO, CA, WASHINGTON, DC and NEW YORK, NY— October 11, 2016 — A new national survey reveals that a growing number of ...

Gay News

Dem presidential candidate Clinton addresses LGBT equality 2016-10-06 - Philadelphia Gay News reached out to the Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, to discuss LGBT issues in ...

Gay News

Marriage plaintiff Windsor remarries 2016-10-05 - Edie Windsor—the marriage-equality plaintiff who successfully challenged the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013—recently remarried City Hall in New York. On Sept. ...

Gay News

WEDDINGS Rody-Sollors 2016-10-05 - They made it official: Brian Rody and Karsten Sollors had an outdoor wedding Sept. 25 in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. Rody ...

Gay News

World: Nuns' civil union, Israelis hosting soldiers, medical news 2016-10-04 - Two former nuns who met in a convent have been joined in a civil union in a ceremony in a small town in ...


Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by