Civil Unions in Illinois- a letter to my Rep.
by Captain Pants
Thu May 28, 2009 at 05:32:12 AM PDT
The Illinois House is slated to vote on HB2234, a bill that provides the option of civil unions while also protecting religious rights. The final deadline is this 30th. They have pushed this back 3 times because Greg Harris, the bill's author, isn't sure he has all the votes. Many politicians are staying on the fence for as long as possible, as that is the safest place to be. If you are an Illinois resident, please call your representatives and ask them to support this bill.
How to contact your rep.
Below is a letter to my House Representative, who happens to be one of those republicans hanging out on the fence for as long as possible.
* Captain Pants's diary :: ::
I am new to Palatine, so you are my new Rep. I was excited to learn that you are a former teacher and educator and not just another lawyer. Looking over some of your record, I respect many of your votes concerning education.
I am trying to decide if I will extend my support, donations, and activism for you. House Bill 2234, concerning Civil Unions, is coming up and is one of the primary bills with which I will judge your quality as a representative and as a compassionate person. I am a heterosexual, happily married man, but I believe that civil rights are for everyone. There is a fairly large Gay/Straight Alliance club at the high school where I teach, and as a teacher, I couldn't imagine walking in to tell them, "Sorry, I don't think you deserve looking forward to the same rights that my wife and I take for granted. Your identity and feelings are an abomination." That is what a no vote on this bill would be saying to these kids just a few years before they are pushed out to be a working, voting, and contributing members to a society that finds them unacceptable. Can you imagine yourself stepping into a classroom explaining such a vote to your former students who were gay?
Such a world is not acceptable to me; I hope it isn't for you. With so many states leading the way, I can't tell you how the faces of these students light up when they hear the latest news that a new state has taken a step forward - that they live in a country where they are respected and accepted. I hope we can make their own state a place where they can feel respected and accepted.
I personally talked to another State Rep who said you were still on the fence and getting a lot of pressure from right -wing conservative interests on this issue. I don't know that the voices on my side are as loud, but I just wanted to let you know that my voice is here, and my voice is also that of these students, their friends, their families, and all people who support civic equality.
I do typically vote democratic, but I have voted independently across party lines in the past. It seems you are a bit more "compassionate" and reasonable in some of your views than some of your colleagues concerning social issues, and I chalk some of that up to your experience as a teacher. I was concerned about your positions on certain issues such as health care. It doesn't seem as if you would support a universal public option. Your comments that we must pay our current bills to health care providers is dead right, but if the plan was expanded to a larger pool and better funded, those bills would be more likely to be paid. We just have to decide where our priorities are, and the health and security of all citizens is the highest priority. I am willing to pay for that.
Thank you much,