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 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


Veto session looms as marriage organizers push for last votes
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Zero. That is the number of on-record "yes" votes for marriage equality added since May 31.

See related story, The vote count, at .

But LGBT leaders say that support for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act, SB10, is growing and they intend to see a vote on the bill during this fall's veto session.

LGBT leaders and sponsors are in the midst of a massive push to pass the bill, after an attempt to do so fell short during the spring session in May.

Illinois Unites for Marriage, the coalition of organizations leading that charge, has put 19 field organizers on the ground in 38 districts across the state. The campaign has also employed a field director and two deputy field directors under Campaign Manager John Kohlhepp, who was hired following the May shortfall.

"We hope to pass SB10 in the veto session," Kohlhepp said.

Organizers are knocking on doors, running phone banks and collecting post cards from supporters, he added.

"It's a matter of elevating the voices of people who care about the issue, and that is what the campaign is about," he told Windy City Times.

Kohlhepp reiterated the goal of securing an ambitious 71 votes, 11 more than the bill needs to pass. Those extra votes would allow sponsors to amend the effective date to 30 days after passage, rather than the June effective date that would be required if the bill passed during veto session. Kohlhepp said that campaign continues to work towards the 71 vote goal but makes no guarantees.

The bill passed the Senate in February but fell short of support by session's end in May. Rep. Greg Harris, sponsor of the bill, previously said that wavering colleagues had assured him they would return in the fall ready to vote on the measure.

But Harris will not say whether he intends to call for a vote on the bill during the veto session, which begins Oct. 22. He recently told Windy City Times he has not ruled out veto session, but would not say for certain if he would move the bill then.

"I would like to see it take effect as soon as possible," Harris said, adding that the 71 vote goal is "a broad reach."

Sponsors will have between Oct. 22-24 and Nov. 5-7 to pass the bill in the veto session. If sponsors fall short of shoring up 71 votes, they will need to decide if they want to move the bill in the fall veto session or wait until January when regular session begins. That would allow them to pass the bill in January and see an effective date the following month, rather than in June.

Harris said that the Supreme Court's effective strike down of the Defense of Marriage Act has given sponsors more ammo for their argument that civil unions fall short of marriages. That is because same-sex married couples will now be able to access a number of federal benefits—like veterans benefits, joint tax filing and social security recognition for spouses.

"I think we need to continue to work with folks in their districts and let them know how things have changed," Harris told Windy City Times.

Pressure will be on Harris and other sponsors to call for a vote on the bill during veto session.

Thousands are expected to rally in support of the bill Oct. 22 outside the Capitol Building. The March on Springfield, planned by Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim and a group of LGBT activists from around the state, is scheduled for noon that day.

Organizers are urging thousands to flood the capitol for the march. Illinois Unites has also thrown its weight behind the rally, using its listserv to publicize the event.

Asked if organizers have added numbers to their "yes" count, Kohlhepp said, "I believe that we can say that we have."

But supporters face a tough fight. Those that have switched to the "yes" column have yet to make their stances public, leaving them room to back out. Additionally, the veto session falls before election filing deadlines, increasing chances that lawmakers fearful of primary challenges will balk at voting on controversial bills.

Rick Garcia, policy advisor for The Civil Rights Agenda, said that reality is making him cautious about forecasts for the fall.

"I'm making no predictions because after what happened in May, I'm gun shy about doing that," Garcia said.

And Garcia suggests another challenge— organizers have yet to secure even 60 votes, he said.

"We're cobbling together votes that we need," he said. "We need a handful."

That, he said, should be reason for equal marriage supporters to contact their state reps. and put the pressure on.

"How can we position [representatives] in a way that they're comfortable in doing this before a primary?" Garcia asked.

More information on the March on Springfield is available at . Information on Illinois Unites and volunteer opportunities can be found at .

See related story, The vote count, here: .

facebook twitter pin it stumble upon digg 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.


World news: LGBT Ugandans; Ireland and marriage; trans deaths 2015-11-24
Nat'l roundup: ACA cases; anti-trans petition; anti-LGBT companies; marriage 2015-11-17
Law-school event looks at Obergefell 2015-11-10
Marriage-equality architect Wolfson reflects, looks forward 2015-11-10
Report covers marriage, philanthropy 2015-11-04
World news: Fatal attack; blood ban ends; marriage news 2015-11-03
Outed Goshen candidate still does not support ordinance change 2015-11-01
Zopp: Duckworth inconsistent on marriage equality 2015-11-01
LGBT state leaders to confer on ongoing fight in a marriage equality world 2015-11-01
CELEBRATIONS Wedding: Shayna X Kramer and Larissa Sims 2015-10-28
Advocate Evan Wolfson on ending discrimination 2015-10-28
Attorney who helped defeat DOMA talks about Edie Windsor 2015-10-26
Then Comes Marriage: Kaplan lays it all to bare 2015-10-25
Treasury Department considers rule change reflecting marriage equality 2015-10-22
Victory Fund CEO talks organizing, post-marriage decision 2015-10-14
2015 CRFC Bill of Rights in Action award goes to marriage plaintiffs 2015-10-07
Plaintiff in Supreme Court case Obergefell writes open letter to Kim Davis 2015-10-01
Anti-LGBT pizzeria caters gay wedding 2015-09-29
Pope says government officials can refuse to issue licenses 2015-09-28
World: Marriage stalled; pro-LGBT move in Nepal; rugby partnership 2015-09-23
Obergefell to speak in Chicago Oct. 17 2015-09-23
Gov't: Ireland will recognize marriage 2015-09-23
Guest column: Ode to My Husband 2015-09-23
ACLU: Rowan County Clerk's Office failed to follow court orders 2015-09-21
Commission finds in favor of downstate couple 2015-09-19
Jim Obergefell 2015 HRC Chicago Gala speaker 2015-09-16
Relationships & the Law Today: Importance of estate planning 2015-09-16
Australia ousts Prime Minister who stood in way of marriage equality 2015-09-14
Judge releases Kim Davis, order instructs she not interfere 2015-09-08
U.S. District Court releases Kentucky clerk from custody 2015-09-08
Kentucky clerk jailed; couple get license 2015-09-04
Kentucky clerk refusing licenses ordered jailed 2015-09-03
Supreme Court denies KY County Clerk's request to refuse marriage licenses 2015-08-31
Federation of Gay Games honors Ireland for popular vote for marriage 2015-08-27
Together for 29 years, Hill and Jones leaving Chicago for Santa Fe 2015-08-26
News briefs: Marriage in MI; Clinton rally Sept. 20; College savings accounts 2015-08-25
Pro-marriage equality state Rep. Sullivan won't seek re-election 2015-08-24
Social Security will retroactively grant spousal benefits in Lambda case 2015-08-20
Marriage Equality and Social Justice 2015-08-19
AFER shutting down 2015-08-19

Copyright © 2015 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.