06 November 2013

Same-sex marriage bill not well thought through

In order to lower the number of votes required for the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act to pass in Illinois by 11, the bill's sponsor, Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) changed the effective date of SB10:
Harris changed Senate Bill 10 before Tuesday’s vote, delaying its effective date until June 1. That meant the bill needed 60 votes to pass the House on Tuesday instead of 71. It is also the reason why the Senate had to vote on the bill again after passing it on Valentine’s Day.
It was apparently not well thought through, because June 1, 2014 falls on a Sunday when the offices of the county clerks are closed.

Some clerks have said their offices will be open, but others are yet undecided.  So one politician, Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), has proposed to - you guessed it! - change the effective date of the legislation yet again, and to move it earlier.

To be fair, I'm not a lawyer.  However, it seems to me that if the effective date is moved earlier then the bill should require a new voted and require the original number of votes needed to pass: 71 instead of the lower 60 in the House of Representatives.  Lawmakers, however, won't do that because the bill only received 61 votes in the House.

This is what happens when legislators legislate by emotion and not by reason.  Was it really that difficult to consult a calendar?

Welcome to Illinois.


  1. Idiots! The Gay Marriage bill supporters just royally shot themselves in the foot with this new move of theirs......meaning they have to vote on the bill all over again and Gov. Pat Quinn cannot sign nor veto the bill until they do.

    1. Whether or not they would have to vote again, Bryan, I do not know; that would be logical, which is probably why it wouldn't be required.

  2. As for the calendar question: Correct me if I'm wrong, Father, but don't a good many state laws become effective on some abritray date -- e.g., January 1 -- which may or may not fall on a weekend?

    In any case, I'm glad this law was passed. Finally, my friends -- a couple who have been in a committed relationships for thirty years, ever since they met in college -- are able to enter into a marriage that is recognized under civil law in Illinois. They now are on an equal footing, legally, with an opposite-sex couple, who have long been able to get married after knowing each other for as little as a week or two. And no, my friends' marriage does not threaten my own marriage in the least. That's a common argument, but it doesn't hold water.

    1. You are correct about the dating, Steve, but if this legislation is so important and so vital to the well-being and happiness of so many people, one would think the legislators would bother to check the effective date to see that it would be helpful.

      You'll notice, too, that in my opposition to this legislation I did not argue that it will harm your marriage; I argued that it will harm religious liberty, which it will, and which you - and everyone else who supports the bill - are happy to ignore.