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Bad News, Good News for Gay Rights

By Amy Hart in Arts & Entertainment on May 10, 2006 2:55PM

We held off writing anything about gay marriage opponents trying to get a referendum to change the Illinois Constitution to define marriage as a relationship between a woman and a man on the November ballot because we didn’t want to give the haters at Protect Marriage Illinois any attention, and we hoped they would fail in their quest to collect the needed signatures.

2006_05_gaymarriageshirt.jpgThe good news is that organizers of the referendum fell short in their goal to get 500,000 signatures; the bad news is they did collect 345,199, which, if they are all upheld, would be enough to get an advisory referendum asking voters if they think our state Constitution should limit marriage to heterosexual couples only on the ballot.

Governor Blagojevich said an amendment to the Constitution is a bad idea because it is too extreme and will divide voters. Furthermore, he thinks it is not needed since Illinois law currently bans same-sex marriage. Blago sent a further FU to gay haters by extending health benefits to same-sex partners of merit compensation employees earlier this week. Republican gubernatorial candidate Judy Baar Topinka agreed with Blago’s stance that an amendment would go too far, but we’re sure possible candidate James Meeks is all for it since a lot of the signatures came from his church.

As Zorn pointed out last month, a gay marriage referendum could have significant impact on the November election. Proponents who make gay marriage out to be an affront to God and leading to the downfall of society as a whole will use scare tactics to get out the conservative vote, thus affecting races statewide. If you want to help stop the referendum from succeeding, contact Equality Illinois or the Gay Liberation Network.

Image via Radical Rags.