ILGP Hold Equal Marriage Forum, Blast Democrats for “Scamming” LGBT Community

The Green Party blasted Democrats in the state legislature for deliberately stalling three gay rights bills in the recent legislative session that ended earlier this week.

“The Democratic Party has been a big disappointment on gay rights,” said Steve Alesch, candidate for Congress in 2008. “Democrats control the White House, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House. Democrats have held the Illinois governor’s office and have controlled both chambers of the state legislature since 2003. Yet, still no civil unions, no equal marriage. Nothing but stalling, year after year after year.”

In the Illinois General Assembly, House Bill 2234 (civil unions), and House Bill 178 (equal marriage), stalled in the House rules committee, a tactic Democratic leaders often use to stifle unwanted legislation.

There was some movement on Senate Bill 1716, Amendment 1, which has similar language to HB2234. In a well-timed PR stunt, the Democrats let the amendment pass out of a committee on the same day that a California court upheld Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage, but did nothing further to advance the bill.

“The Democrats perpetuate their image as the ‘gay friendly’ party, and they are more than happy to take contributions from gay donors, but do precious little to help the cause,” said A.J. Segneri, ILGP Membership Steward. “This is the great scam on the gay community.”

The Illinois Green Party is taking lawmakers to task for their indifference by seeking new candidates who support equal marriage to run in 2010.  The Greens have recently formed a new Lavender Caucus within their state party to help reach out to the gay community.

Most lawmakers would rather remain non-committal, and wait for the courts to do the heavy-lifting,” said Gini Lester, of the ILGP’s Lavender Caucus. “But the courts can’t always get it done, as we’ve seen with California’s proposition 8 fiasco. So the Green Party is taking a stand.”

The DuPage County Green Party is focusing on marriage equality this month, with its June 30 forum “Civil Unions, Equal Marriage and Straights: How marriage equality in Illinois benefits everyone.” The forum will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30, at the Westmont Public Library, 428 N. Cass, Westmont, IL. For more information, visit www.dupagegreens.org.

The forum, free and open to the public, is part of the new Social Justice Series, focusing on issues of equality, peace, freedom and sustainability.

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