Ronald Ayers

Posts Tagged ‘Illinois’

Ill. set to be 15th state to allow gay marriage

In Homosexual marriage, Homosexual rights on November 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm

KERRY LESTER, AP

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — With Illinois set to become the 15th state nationwide to legalize same-sex marriage, Chicago couple Theresa Volpe and Mercedes Santos finally began planning the wedding they’d started thinking about more than two decades ago.

“From the moment we met and fell in love, the language was, ‘If I could marry you I would,'” said Volpe, who is expecting the couple’s third child. “We waited a long time for that to happen, to hear … that we can have that. I think it’s really the final stamp on our relationship.”

After months of arduous lobbying in President Barack Obama’s home state, Illinois lawmakers passed a measure Tuesday that would legalize same-sex marriage. Under the legislation, which Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has vowed to sign, couples could start tying the knot in June.

Fourteen other states and Washington, D.C., allow same-sex marriage.

The road to the Illinois vote was long and included a stalled attempt earlier this year, frustrating activists in a state where Democrats lead the House, Senate and governor’s office. Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, who is the main sponsor, decided not to bring the bill for a vote in May, saying he didn’t have the support.

Then the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to strike down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which Harris said resonated with lawmakers. Backers also launched a furious campaign, hiring a union lobbyist, the former head of the Illinois Republican Party and field organizers statewide.

“To treat all our citizens equally in the eyes of the law we must change this,” Harris said on the floor. “Families have been kept apart.”

Debate lasted more than two hours, and the final roll call was met with cheers. Supporters’ speeches echoed themes of equality and civil rights, with mentions of Obama and Martin Luther King Jr.

The measure had backing from both of Illinois’ U.S. senators and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It also got a last-minute boost from longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, who serves as chair of the state’s Democratic Party. The Chicago Democrat said he used the “art of persuasion” to bring on more than five votes in the last week.

Opponents, including some of the most powerful religious leaders in Illinois, have said marriage should remain between a man and a woman. A group of Chicago-area pastors vowed to line up primary challengers against some lawmakers who voted yes.

The bill first cleared the Senate on Valentine’s Day. Backers expressed confidence that the bill would be approved by the House in mid-March. But it took the supporters months to secure votes.

Although Illinois once appeared poised to become the first Midwestern state to approve gay marriage in the Legislature, Minnesota did it sooner and started holding its first same-sex weddings over the summer. Iowa allows gay marriages too, because of a court ruling, not a legislative vote.

For months, the leaders of several black mega-churches lobbied the districts of black House members with an aggressive robocall campaign against gay marriage, placing the Democratic members of the caucus in an uncomfortable spotlight. Many remained undecided until the vote neared.

But for couples such as Volpe and Santos, Tuesday marked the start of a new chapter.

The couple had a civil union ceremony in 2011, when Illinois approved them. But now they hope their wedding will include their new baby.

“Some people didn’t even know what that meant. Some of them didn’t come because they didn’t know — what does that mean?” Volpe said. “When you say ‘We’re going to have a wedding,’ for sure people will come now.”

Source: Associated Press

 

 

JJJ Plea Deal Includes “Significant Jail Time:” Report

In Democrats, General News, Political News on February 7, 2013 at 3:28 pm
English: Sandi Jackson and Jesse Jackson

English: Sandi Jackson and Jesse Jackson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A reported plea deal is in the works for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and it involves “significant jail time.”

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed reports the deal offered up by federal prosecutors is being considered by Jackson, who has been under investigation for months because of alleged misuse of campaign funds. Sneed reported in November that Jackson has been active in the probe against him and has told the feds everything he knows.
A source close to the investigation told Sneed this week that “significant” time in a federal prison is definitely part of the deal.
The deal comes after news broke Monday that federal investigators also are taking an independent look at the finances of Jackson’s wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson.
Sandi Jackson was asked by Illinois‘ State Board of Elections to explain a $69,000 discrepancy between her campaign finance reports and those of her husband. The former alderman told NBCChicago in December she blamed the conflict on clerical errors made by transitioning staff members and said amendments to her reports were being made.
Jackson resigned late last year as Illinois’ 2nd District Congressman amid a federal probe and after months away from his political duties as his staff said he battled bipolar depression.
Less than two months later, Sandi Jackson stepped down effective Jan. 15 as alderman for the 7th Ward.
Source: Chicago Suntimes

Romney pulling Illinois voters from Obama

In General News on October 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm

CHICAGO, Oct. 11 (UPI) — CHICAGO, Oct. 11 (UPI) — President Obama has a strong lead in Chicago but rival Mitt Romney has greater support in other parts of Illinois, a post-debate poll indicated.

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obama had a whopping 79 percent to 12 percent lead over Romney in Chicago, a Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll found. His advantage narrowed in suburban Cook County, 57 percent to Romney’s 34 percent, and 54 percent to 41 percent in the surrounding counties. In the remaining 96 counties, the GOP presidential aspirant led, 46 percent to 41 percent.

More white voters have been attracted to Romney since February. Then, whites favored Obama 48 percent to 41 percent.

The latest survey, conducted Oct. 4-8, found Romney with 46 percent and Obama with 45 percent. Obama’s support has also slipped among white suburban women.

Eight months ago, they favored the president 63 percent to 30 percent. That support has now fallen to 50 percent, with Romney at 43 percent. Some 95 percent of Illinois African-Americans continue to support Obama, the poll indicated.

The president’s job approval continues virtually unchanged from February at 53 percent statewide, but has dropped among Democrats. Statewide, 51 percent of voters approved of Obama’s handling of the economy and jobs. The survey of 700 voters has an error rate of 3.7 percent.

Source: United Press International

%d bloggers like this: