Denouncing what they are calling the "Epic Fail / Epic Betrayal" of Illinois Democrats failure to pass SB 10, the state's equal marriage rights bill last night, gay activists and their allies are calling an emergency response protest for 8 p.m., Sat., June 1 beginning at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets in Chicago.
With a recent Crain's poll showing Illinoisans favoring the equal marriage rights bill by a nearly two-to-one margin, and Democrats holding a huge majority in the Illinois General Assembly, the usual excuses of pro-LGBT legislation being held up by Republican conservatives didn't hold water.
What should have been a cakewalk instead became an epic fail. Activists are denouncing what they say was a consistent failure by the bill's sponsors to reach out to other minority communities and involve the LGBT community itself in messaging, and instead ran a top-down corporate campaign such as has been responsible for previous epic failures, such as California's Proposition 8.
"House Speaker Mike Madigan, the de facto leader of the Illinois Democratic Party, is responsible for this abject betrayal," said Andy Thayer, long-time equal marriage rights activist and co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network
. "Anyone who knows anything about Illinois politics knows that Speaker Mike Madigan owns the House – if he had insisted on a positive vote from his caucus, it would have passed.
"Speaker Madigan has repeatedly shoveled millions of tax dollars to his wealthy cronies, leaving the state's finances in a total mess, but when it comes to passing civil rights legislation, he refused to spend any political capital."
Tonight's protest is sponsored by the Gay Liberation Network
and The Civil Rights Agenda
.From a news release