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Illinois' Gov. Quinn to sign civil unions legislation

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By Adam Bink

In another episode of “elections matter”, Gov. Pat Quinn, re-elected in a not as tough as others but still tough fight this past November, will sign legislation enacting civil unions for same-sex couples today. And he’s doing it with some gusto. Via the Sun-Times (h/t AMERICABlog):

Gov. Quinn will enact legislation that will allow same-sex couples to enter into civil unions during a bill-signing ceremony Monday that could go down as one of the largest in state history.

The governor’s office has been publicizing the bill-signing for a week and expects as many as 1,000 people to show up at the ceremony, which will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.

“We knew there was going to be a lot of interest in participating in what is a pretty historic moment. There’s only a limited number of states that allow civil unions, and a smaller amount that allow gay marriage,” Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan said.

“What we wanted to do was just make it as public as we could, and the response has been overwhelming,” she said.

[…]

“The turnout is going to be beyond anyone’s expectations,” said Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the bill’s chief House sponsor. “What people are saying to me is this is going to be a historic moment. I had a couple of women tell me they had waited 28 years for this and wanted to be there when it finally happens.

We should know our champions not just by pen to paper, but by the visibility they grant to our issues. Good for Gov. Quinn. And now the push for full equality at the state level will begin, too.

82 Comments

  • 1. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Happy Day! Shout out to Rebecca in Chicago! : D

  • 2. Lar  |  January 30, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Another state that is one state closer to full marriage equality! Go Illinois!!!!
    Morning yall!

  • 3. Ed Cortes  |  January 30, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    Wheeeee!

  • 4. Rich  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:00 am

    Good news indeed!

  • 5. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:13 am

    OT
    "60 is the new 30"
    Suze Orman "It Gets Better" : D
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbECOomyr-0&fe

  • 6. Peterplumber  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:25 am

    YAY!!!

  • 7. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:31 am

    It really does get better.

  • 8. plainmike  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:34 am

    This is a big step toward marriage equality in Illinois. At first I think it's not "marriage" but I have to take a step back and realize that it's a major push forward. I have a civil union in New Jersey and my husband and I have found that it still doesn't quite cut it. We've come to learn that when someone asks us if we are married, just say "yes." Don't say I have a "civil union." It opens a whole can of worms, and not only that, you've just outed yourself. But, from a legal standpoint, it does give you the state level rights of "married" couples. To Illinois I say congratulations for this momentus occasion!

  • 9. anonygrl  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:37 am

    This is the way the world changes. With big leaps and tiny steps and hope and fear and hesitation and grand swan dives into the unknown. This is the way equality grows, with a paper signed and 1000 joyful witnesses, and hundreds of bigotted cries of "THEY are destroying US by demanding equality!" and thousands of everyday people saying "Hey, it is fine with me!" and hands being held in public that would not have been held fifty years ago.

    This is the way that we become "just folks" instead of something that people worry their children might become, something dark and hidden, something to be feared and lied about. This is how society says "we know you are of us, not against us, not beneath us, but simply part of us."

    This is the way that love wins.

  • 10. Kathleen  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:38 am

  • 11. Ann S.  |  January 31, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Wooot!

  • 12. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:02 am

    @ "this is the way that love wins" ::happy sigh:: lovely, poetic post anony : )

    reminds me of video Kathleen posted at the end declares:
    "Falling in love will not send you to hell, love is beautiful"

  • 13. Mackenzie  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:15 am

    YES!!!!!

  • 14. New  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Kudos to gov. Quinn.
    Just asking myself why there's not a FEDERAL civil union legislation introduced yet.

  • 15. Ronnie  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:27 am

    One step closer in Illinois…Super Sweet!!!!….<3…Ronnie

  • 16. Tuffwreslr  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:34 am

    beautiful & profound.

  • 17. Ed  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:43 am

    OT, but….the fact that this even got mentioned in our paper is huge….remember, with ND being our biggest area employer, this area is more right wing than anything else…
    http://www.wsbt.com/news/wsbt-schools-dealing-wit

  • 18. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Nice education piece with great pict of cute kids : D Thanks for sharing !

  • 19. Rebecca in Chicago  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:08 am

    Thanks so much! I can't get off work to go to the signing, which is a bummer.

    As Adam mentioned, the next step is full marriage equality. That fight is going to be even tougher. Back in 2005, 31% of Illinois residents supported full marriage equality. That number has risen a lot in a few years and hovers right around the 50% mark. In what is now a purple state, it will be interesting to see how things unfold.

    But for now I'm just happy my girlfriend and I will soon be able to get a host of legal protections we couldn't before!

  • 20. Ronnie  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:10 am

    CYNDI LAUPER MENTORS GAY TEEN ELI MEDINA ON MTV'S 'MADE'

    On today's episode of "Made" on MTV @4pm EST, Cyndi Lauper mentors Eli, a gay teen who is living on his own after he was rejected by his mother for telling her he is gay…..Ms. Lauper & "Made" coach singer Jeremiah Abiah helps Eli overcome his shyness to sing in front of others & she invites him to be in a "We Give a Damn" video…

    There is a preview of the episode attached to the towleroad.com article……along with 2 links to previous episodes about gay teens…..<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.towleroad.com/2011/01/eli.html

  • 21. Sagesse  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Happy, happy dance! Looking forward to video, coverage of the signing. And gloating over NOM's response :).

  • 22. Ed  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:23 am

    They did seem to be quite quiet about this (and Hawaii's impending civil unions too). Wonder why?

  • 23. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:25 am

    Great to hear from you! Woot to Illinois! love to hear about rise in about 19% in acceptance. Hope that trend continues everywhere!

  • 24. anonygrl  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:26 am

    And today, we are all celebrating this step in the process with you! Congratulations!!!

  • 25. anonygrl  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:27 am

    Yes, isn't THAT odd… suddenly they are shutting up. :)

  • 26. Peterplumber  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:28 am

    There is nothing on the NOM Blog site nor on the main NOM site about either.
    There IS something about trying to reclaim marriage in DC, tho. PFFFFT

  • 27. Ed  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Reclaim? UGH!! It's like some sick version of the game "keep away"….

  • 28. Ronnie  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:38 am

    COLORADO COALITION LAUNCHES DRIVE FOR CIVIL UNIONS http://www.towleroad.com/2011/01/colorado-coaliti

    Said Brad Clark, Executive Director of One Colorado, in a press release: "The Voices for Strong Families Coalition represents more than half a million Coloradans who understand that denying committed couples the security we all want and need is wrong. Especially in these difficult economic times, legislators have a responsibility to ensure that all committed couples have the tools they need to provide for the ones they love.”

    Here is a clip from the press conference……<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdOjt6BDv4M&fe

  • 29. Ed  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:42 am

    This year, my friends, really IS the tipping point, I believe….

  • 30. anonygrl  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Primarily that is because marriage has always been a states rights issue. Each state regulates it in their own way, and always has, so it is an issue that in SPECIFIC cases needs to be done on the state level.

    Where that changes is when a case reaches the Supreme Court and a policy that the states are following is found to be unconstitutional. If, for instance, Prop 8 makes it that far, and the Supreme Court finds it unconstitutional. that could apply to the entire country.

    But until that happens, it remains an issue for individual states to legislate on.

    Additionally, civil unions are not the right answer. While they are certainly a step along the way, equality will not actually be achieved until MARRIAGE is the standard for everyone.Civil unions are quite a bit better than nothing, but they still mark us as second class citizens.

    So, in the equality fight, we look to have all states make marriage equal for all by law, but we know that the way this may ultimately be achieved is through the courts.

  • 31. Carpool Cookie  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:46 am

    "There’s only a limited number of states that allow civil unions, and a smaller amount that allow gay marriage,” Quinn spokeswoman Brie Callahan said."

    The term "civil unions" kind of throws me off. I think of marriages as civil unions. I guess they mean some kind of registered domestic partnership?

    But it is so great to see support for this by the system and the public. Homosexuality and bisexuality used to be these criminal, unmentionable topics…and that's what gave the oppresors power, because the whole thing was so shadowy.

    Now when the topic of unions or marriages is raised, most people in the public think, "Of COURSE they should be allowed to marry/vote/adopt/whatever…they're talking about my COUSIN!"

  • 32. anonygrl  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:46 am

    I think SO. Wow!

  • 33. Ed  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:49 am

    or son/daughter….or sister/brother…..people they KNOW….

  • 34. Carpool Cookie  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:52 am

    "Especially in these difficult economic times, legislators have a responsibility to ensure that all committed couples have the tools they need to provide for the ones they love.”

    That's a really good point.

    And if it's all about "the family" and "the children", like NOM crows, it's only logical to acknowledge that there are scores of children and families under the umbrellas of same sex couples ALREADY (and that there will continue to be in increasing numbers), and that they need benefits like everyone else.

  • 35. Carpool Cookie  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:55 am

    YES…or "neighbor", "corner mechanic", "fellow PTA member", "dad's partner"…

  • 36. Carpool Cookie  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:58 am

    EDIT: Well, I should say "Dad AND his partner"…as it's rather unlikely Dad would have a same sex partner unless he were gay or bi.

  • 37. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 3:00 am

    ditto! (good video Ronnie!)

  • 38. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Jumping up and down in hopeful enthusiasm for 2011 to be the tipping point!!!

  • 39. Ronnie  |  January 31, 2011 at 3:05 am

    WATCH: MARINE COMMANDANT JAMES AMOS HAS A MESSAGE FOR TROOPS REGARDING 'DADT' IMPLEMENTATION http://www.towleroad.com/2011/01/amos.html

    "Above all else we are loyal to the Constitution, our Commander in Chief, Congress, our chain of command and the American people….I want to be clear to all Marines. We will step out smartly to faithfully implement this new law. It’s important that we value the diversity, background, culture and skills of all Marines bring to the service of our nation. As we implement repeal, I want leaders at all levels to re-emphasize the important of maintaining dignity and respect for one another throughout our force. We are Marines. We care for one another and respect the right of all who wear this uniform." ~ Marine Commandant General James Amos

    hmm…Let's do the damn thing…lol…awesome…<3…Ronnie:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPn3V3KuhaM&fe

  • 40. nightshayde  |  January 31, 2011 at 3:49 am

    I went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago. Interracial straight couple, with the bride's dad & his partner in attendance front & center.

    It was awesome.

    I kept thinking of this site & the people who frequent it — and kept thinking that not all that long ago, my friend wouldn't have been able to marry her now-husband, and her father wouldn't have been seen at a wedding openly with his partner (who happens to still be closeted to his family … but that's another matter).

    Mutual love is a beautiful thing, no matter who shares it.

  • 41. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 3:57 am

    lovely story nightshayde : )

  • 42. Richard A. Jernigan  |  January 31, 2011 at 4:18 am

    It's not full equality, but it is a step in the right direction.

  • 43. Kathleen  |  January 31, 2011 at 4:35 am

    Motions filed in LCR v. USA (DADT case)

    I hesitate to call these updates. I can't imagine that this proposed intervenor is being taken seriously, but just in case this turns into something, and to give everyone something to read and … well, they're kind of amusing in a sad sort of way… I've uploaded them.

    Here they are, filed by Joseph Zernik, pro se, complete with typos, (note spelling of "United States" — and that's just the caption)

    Request for extension of time to reply on motion to intervene. http://www.scribd.com/doc/47903022

    Reply in support of Motion to Intevene [sic]. http://www.scribd.com/doc/47903103

    Motion asking for Orders to be served on Clerk of the Court, having to do with docket entries and notices. http://www.scribd.com/doc/47903173

  • 44. Straight Ally #3008  |  January 31, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Primarily that is because marriage has always been a states rights issue.

    And that's why Republicans oppose DOMA! Oh, wait….

  • 45. Rhie  |  January 31, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Watching

  • 46. book in tracy  |  January 31, 2011 at 6:04 am

    @Kathleen: Is this guy for real? and what is the bottom line of his 'venting'?

    A BIG Yowzer for my home state! Go Illinois!!!!

  • 47. nightshayde  |  January 31, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Thanks, Gregory. It really was a fantastic wedding with lots of Rainbow Tribe representation. It was so nice being in a group that size (I'm guessing around 150 people) with nobody whispering or pointing or making any sort of differentiation among orientations. There were also at least 10 kids present (two grandchildren of the bride's dad) — none of whom were being "sheltered" from seeing love as it should be & none of whom will be negatively impacted in any way. The kids are all right!

  • 48. anonygrl  |  January 31, 2011 at 6:15 am

    LOL!!! Excellent point.

  • 49. Larry Little  |  January 31, 2011 at 6:40 am

    CAN ANYBODY TELL ME WHAT POSSIBLE HARM OF ANY MAGNITUDE WILL OCCUR TO YOUR INSTITUTION OFMARRIAGE IF GEORGE MARRIES JIM OR ALICE MARRIES MILDRED?
    DOES ANY OPPOSITION TO SAME SEX MARRIAGE EXISTS EXCEPT THROUGH RELIGIOUS FANATICISM?
    DOES THE CHURCH NEED TO HAVE A MONOPOLY ON THE MARRIAGE CONTRACT?
    SINCE EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE CONSISTS OF BEDROOM BEHAVIOR
    THAT OCCURS NOT TOO DISSIMILAR THAN SAME SEX BEHAVIOR, I ASK AGAIN, WITH THE COUNTRY DROWNING IN JOBLESSNESS, WHY IS THE TEA PARTY ONLY INTERESTED IN PASSING HATE LEGISLATION (ANTI-ABORTION),(ANTI-SAME SEX MARRIAGE) IS AT THE TOP OF JOHN BOEHNER'S DOCKET AS HAVING A HIGHER PRIORITY THAN THE ECONOMY?

  • 50. Kathleen  |  January 31, 2011 at 6:44 am

    If you've been following along, you might have noticed the statement in the Court's most recent order (the one refusing to put a hold on the appeal) which said, "The pending motions filed by proposed intervenor Joseph Zernik shall be addressed by separate order." That was referring to a number of motions he filed earlier this month.

    I don't know what the guy's problem is. His original motions, which I don't think I uploaded because they just seemed to be red herrings, were going on about something to do with the original judgment not being properly certified… or something.

    If you google the guy's name, he describes himself as a human rights activist. Most everything I can find "about" him seems to have been written "by" him. I can't really get much of a read on who he is, except that he seems to devote most of his time to filing lawsuits and complaints with Congress and civil agencies.

  • 51. Kate  |  January 31, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Kathleen, why does the court even have to give this guy's stuff any attention at all? "Addressing by separate order" seems pretty real…………

  • 52. Peterplumber  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:03 am

    He seems to be a real nut job. I googled his name, and he is calling for the impeachment of the clerk of the supreme court for some oddball reason.

    I wonder if this was the "John Doe" that submitted a late amicus brief in the Perry case?

    Oh, and our secruity system (Barracuda) won't let me visit his organizations web site, Human Rights Alert

    humanrightsalert.org/

  • 53. Peterplumber  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:04 am

    http://humanrightsalert.org/

  • 54. Larry Little  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:09 am

    I AM A RIGHTHANDED PERSON TYPYING LEFTHANDED WITH ONE FINGER. USING THE SHIFT KEYS FOR LOWER CASE LETTERING BECOMES TOILSOME AND ADDS TOO MUCH LABOR TO MY EFFORTS. AM NOT SCREAMING.I AM TRYING TO REDUCE LABOR. THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPLY. I HAD RECENT SURGERY WHERE I LOST A KNUCKLE ON MY RIGHT THUMB THREE DAYS AGO. I TYPED 98 WORDS A MINUTE ON A MECHANICAL TYPEWRITER IN 1943. USING WHAT I GOT LEFT EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE.

  • 55. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Please forgo capital lettering than….less annoying to read than ALL CAPS
    Hope you heal quickly by the way…..sounds painful :-(

  • 56. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Watch the signing in Illinois
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/livenow?id=7096071

    on now

  • 57. Kathleen  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:22 am

    The downside of an open society in which the average citizen gets access to the courts. If the motion conforms with the rules, the court has to deal with it.

  • 58. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 31, 2011 at 7:57 am

    He is signing it now! woot

  • 59. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 31, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Lots of pens!

  • 60. Lesbians Love Boies  |  January 31, 2011 at 8:04 am

    And, it's now singed by the Gov! Woot Illinois!

  • 61. Zander  |  January 31, 2011 at 8:32 am

    My boyfriend found this and I was reading over it. It's about Chic Fil-a donating food to an anti-gay group. I feel after reading this site, they are leaving out very important details. It kinda irritates me to be honest… Plus the comments underneath are really infuriating…

    Anyhoo, sorry if this is a report.

    Take care,
    Zander
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110131

  • 62. Mark M. (Seattle)  |  January 31, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Thanks Zander (love your screen name!! Drawn Together)
    Word of warning….reading the comments on a Yahoo story is truly bad for your blood pressure :-)

  • 63. fiona64  |  January 31, 2011 at 8:52 am

    I love "Made." The one with Veronica Varlow (who really rocks, BTW) made me cry.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 64. Paul in Minneapolis  |  January 31, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Hooray for Illinois!

    I find it interesting that there has been little press (that I have seen, anyway) about the fact that Illinois civil unions will be available to opposite-sex couples as well as same-sex couples.

    NOM and their ilk should be wondering which is the greater threat to marriage — allowing same-sex couples to marry, or offering opposite-sex couples an alternative to marriage.

    What will happen to marriage when opposite-sex couples opt for civil unions instead? Won't that weaken marriage? What if *all* opposite-sex couples opted for civil unions? (Not that this will happen, but it is now a possibility in a state where same-sex marriage is still not an option.)

    I'm most interested in thoughts on this topic from the P8TT community.

  • 65. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 9:38 am

    ::Happy Sigh::

  • 66. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 9:39 am

    missed the live feed…thx for posts! woot!

  • 67. Mike M  |  January 31, 2011 at 9:40 am

    And in related news, a very self-righteous member of NOM pressed his very fleshy face into the TV cameras and declared, "We have already begun targeting those who voted for this travesty. They better watch out because we are coming for them." I suppose he said we to give the impression he was with someone else, unless when your waist size exceeds your height you count as a "We" and not an "I".

  • 68. Ed Cortes  |  January 31, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Maybe it's a queen, and is using the "royal we"??

  • 69. Zander  |  January 31, 2011 at 10:05 am

    I get that a lot… -_- Funny show though! I'll learn to stray away from the commentary section and just read the articles. :p

  • 70. Zander  |  January 31, 2011 at 10:06 am

    *repost

  • 71. Ray in MA  |  January 31, 2011 at 10:14 am

    This is history now (not the live feed):
    http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/loc

  • 72. Ray in MA  |  January 31, 2011 at 10:21 am

    WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS AND APPRECIATE YOUR EXPRESSIONS HERE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!… KEEP'EM COMING…YOU ARE VALUED WITH ANY FONT STYLE!!!!

  • 73. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 10:27 am

    one good thing from story:
    UPDATE: Cathy now says Chick-fil-A will no longer donate to any organizations that take a political stand on marriage.

  • 74. Ray in MA  |  January 31, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Oorah !!!!!!!!!!!!
    Oorah !!!!!!!!!!!!
    Oorah !!!!!!!!!!!!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oorah_(Marines)

    Thanx Ronnie, I was expecting these vids… finally they are here.

  • 75. Peterplumber  |  January 31, 2011 at 10:57 am

    One of the ways they are trying to foce SSM by going to the courts in the UK is by having Opposite Sex couples try to get a civil union. Apparently, only Same Sex couples can opt for civil union there, so by having opposite sex couples get denied, they hope to force the issue of Seperate but Equal. Go to
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2011/01/31/uk-gay-marri

    for the whole story.

  • 76. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  January 31, 2011 at 11:40 am

    good link! tx!

  • 77. anonygrl  |  January 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Larry, dear… please lose the caps lock and stop screaming at us. Thanks!

    And of course, you are right. There will be no harm to anyone else’s marriage, no change to what rights churches will have…

    And sadly, it seems that the primary thing driving all that legislation is fear. Fear that the Christian right will no longer be in charge, fear that “different” will no longer mean “inferior”, fear (completely unfounded fear) that somehow those pushing the legislation will be forced to change what they believe.

    We don’t care what they believe. We only care that they not legislate based on religious and discriminatory beliefs.

  • 78. Rhie  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Yea well…raise your hand if you believe the current GOP actually believes in smaller government….

  • 79. Rev. Will Fisher  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Well put anonygrl

  • 80. Kate  |  January 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Yeah….., but why doesn’t SPELLING (or the lack thereof) count? The court shouldn’t even have to read this garbage.

  • 81. AnonyGrl  |  February 1, 2011 at 4:58 am

    Fair enough! Thanks for letting us know the reason, and forgive us for dunning you, then… it is just that so many do come in and use all caps to get attention, and we try to pay attention to everyone, if they have reasonable things to say.

    I am glad that, despite your troubles, you are still here and participating! And hope that things get easier for you.

  • 82. Ronnie  |  February 2, 2011 at 2:48 am

    You're welcome Ray…Oorah!!!…. ; ) …Ronnie

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