They say "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer," but maybe we should go back and work on that friends thing.
The anti-gay bill being hammered through Illinois in record time - the bill that will allow adoption agencies to deny loving, capable families the ability do deny based on "sincerely held religious belief" - is (wait for it) an almost totally Democrat-sponsored bill.
"We are expecting this bill to pass the committee and will most likely pass the Senate as well," said TCRA Executive Director, Anthony Martinez. "This is an all-hands on deck moment. We need every community member to contact their Senators and vote NO on SB 1123."
I thought Senator Dave Koehler was the only Democrat on the bill. Koehler was the sponsor of the civil unions bill that passed in the lame duck session last year and has a lesbian daughter that just got engaged and plans to take advantage of those civil unions. However, this had all the markings of a GOP bill. Then William Haine (D) was added. Then I found out through a mailer from The Civil Rights Agenda that Edward Maloney and Thomas Johnson were added. So far, the only Republican on the bill is Johnson.
This is not a GOP bill, this is a Democrat bill, and we need your help. Find out how after the jump.
Get on the phone right this moment and ask for your Illinois Senator at 217-782-3944.
There will be plenty of time to point fingers after we defeat this bill, but for now, we've got a heck of a lot of work ahead of us, and not a lot of time. Please help us mobilize everyone you know in Illinois. Tell them to call their own Senator as well as the following people and say:
"Please do not vote for Senate Bill 1123 until the adoption language is removed from Amendment 1. The adoption language would not affect the vast majority of adoptions in the state of Illinois, however, the bill does not have to prevent any babies from finding a loving, safe home with capable parents regardless of race, gender, creed or orientation. Help me convince your colleagues to remove this anti-family language."
Believe you me, we'll be revisiting this "anti-family language" in the next few days; I'm shocked and floored right now.
However, for now, please call your Illinois Senator - or help your Illinois friends find theirs - and call the following folks who have some influence over the fate of this bill.
Co-Sponsors of the Legislation
Senator David Koehler
Senator William Haine
Senator Thomas Johnson
Senator Edward Maloney
Senate Executive Committee Members
Senator Don Harmon, Chairperson
Senator Ira I. Silverstein, Vice Chairperson
Senator James F. Clayborne, Jr.
Senator M. Maggie Crotty
Senate President John J. Cullerton
Senator Kimberly A. Lightford
Senator Antonio Muñoz
Senator Jeffrey M. Schoenberg
Senator Donne E. Trotter
Senator Dale A. Righter
Senator Bill Brady
Senator John O. Jones
Senator David S. Luechtefeld
Senator Matt Murphy
Senator Christine Radogno
Thanks to Anthony from The Civil Rights Agenda for pulling this useful list together.
I was told that one Democratic Senator's off-the-record response to someone calling on the bill was "Well, it doesn't affect that many families." That's what we call an uphill climb, folks.
Those of you who suspect the Democratic Party in Illinois won't let this happen, obviously, think again.
[Full disclosure: I'm on the board of The Civil Rights Agenda(TCRA)]