Letters to the editor:
I would like to thank you for your eloquent editorial on the non-passage of the equal-marriage bill during the spring legislative session. Let's be careful to understand the cast of characters in this saga of the bill that wasn't called. To me, there are three categories of villain:
1. Evildoers who know better: Scary-smart politicians like Karl Rove. He doesn't hate gay marriage. Dick Cheney's daughter is a lesbian, for heaven's sake! But Karl Rove knows that the threat of gay marriage creates a media distraction and brings right wing nut jobs to the polls. He is happy to use that weapon because it works; then Halliburton can go to war with Iraq and bring in $40 billion in "clean-up" costs, and the rich people laugh all the way to the bank.
2. Gullible people who think with their brain stem: Religious nut job right-wingers with impaired reasoning ability and big slogans. They are awful. They are the cannon fodder of the people running our media these days. We all oppose them. They are terrible, but they are parochial idiots.
3. Faux friends who have more to gain by pretending to help than by getting the bill passed promptly: What happens to the cushy do-nothing jobs for those six straight white male lobbyists the Democratic National Convention has sent to "help" us in Springfield once the bill passes? How do donations look to the Human Rights Campaign or Equality Illinois once the bill passes? How do donations look to the national Democratic party? How do things look for Speaker Madigan and Madigan's close ally, Greg Harris? Is it better for this cast of characters to give passionate speeches that bring us to tears, or might we prefer for them just to call the darned bill?
Let's be clear: if we're keeping track properly, the people in categories 1 and 2 are the ones we should all band together against. When we see the ridiculous things people have sent Windy City Times, and even when we read Tracy Baim's eloquent message of unity with Rep. Harris, it's clear that lots of us feel that anyone with a rainbow bumper sticker is automatically above reproach. When we do that, we're as gullible as those Tea Partiers we claim to oppose.
Let's not be so numb to exploitation that we overlook the politicians and organizations who wave around the "LGBT" letters specifically so they can harness our rage to fuel their political ambitions, secure their enormous pensions, pay their outrageous executive director salaries or fund their high-end cocktail parties.
Think whatever you like of my characterizations here, but please be careful with your voteand even more careful with your donations.
Dr. Elena M. Yatzeck
Coming to the defense
I am responding to Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim's editorial in the newspaper dated June 1.
The issue surrounding the failed attempt to pass the gay-marriage bill in Illinois, I believe, has rattled many in our community to the very core of their being. There is a sense of betrayal in the crony political theater that took place in Springfield. I believe Tracy's editorial caught that sense of betrayal and called out the responsible parties, and she did it in a way that focused on integrity rather than backroom politics. She brought a spotlight to situation that needed illumination. I believe her editorial captured the pulse of betrayal many in the LGBT community and our allies felt.
There are some ipolitical leaders who will be opposed to this editorial because it calls for accountability and responsibility, and they will even attempt to make the excuse that certain politicians own gay rights, and their authority in this matter should not be challenged. Such a mentality smacks not only of political cronyism, but also of the political arrogance that has led us to this scandalous situation.
There also have been rumblings from some in the political leadership that would lead one to believe that a call for accountability is divisive or even described as finger pointing. I disagree with that opinion, and it is my hope that responsible voices in our community will not be shy about challenging such an unreasonable view when it raises its ugly head.
I do not see or understand this editorial as finger-pointing, or even divisive; rather it's a call for sanity and commonsense in the face of what I can only describe as political incompetence. In my opinion, this editorial lays out a good road map of steps that should be considered in any future community discussion and provides a way forward in seeking truth, healing and reconciliation.
Tracy's editorial was both timely, necessary and an example of the type of courageous and responsible leadership we need to see more of in our community. Had our political leadership committed themselves to such values perhaps many in our community would have been spared the sense of anger, frustration, pain and betrayal they have experienced.
Thank you, Tracy!!!
Rainbow Sash Movement
Apply the pressure
Keep calling for state Rep. Greg Harris to release which Democratic representatives have committed to supporting SB10.
The political class seems to think gay-marriage advocates have an obligation to align behind Harris.
I choose to use my voice and my activism to support gay marriage.
Harris' actions seem designed to protect individual reps at the expense of passing gay marriage in the present.
If reps don't want to take the heat for tough votes, they should quit the Illinois General Assembly and put their snouts in the trough for lobbyists.