Editorial: Gay marriage defeated again, but not forever
Editorials April 13, 2012 11:20PM
Updated: May 16, 2012 8:21AM
A bill to legalize gay marriage in Illinois, we now learn, likely won’t go anywhere in the spring session of the state Legislature, which brings to mind Ron Paul.
Paul, the passionate libertarian running for the Republican nomination for president, no doubt figured out early on — let’s say the Iowa caucuses — that he was unlikely to prevail, but he plugs along. Paul’s aim always has been as much about selling the philosophy of libertarianism and convincing others to see his way of thinking over the long haul, and all those televised debates offered him a terrific opportunity to do just that.
So too for the proponents in Springfield of gay marriage. They all but knew their latest bill, HB 5710, would get no traction, especially in an election year. The last statewide poll on the matter, taken in 2010, showed that only a third of registered voters support gay marriage. But, like Paul, gay marriage backers understand that social progress almost always comes by changing enough hearts and minds. The law and the courts will follow. By introducing HB 5710, they were determined to keep the conversation going.
It’s a strategy that State Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat, and his colleagues employed to push through a civil unions bill, signed last year, that gives same-sex couples in Illinois many — but not — all of the legal protections of married couples.
All the same, we’re disappointed.
We feel certain that future generations will look back on these times and wonder what the big deal was. To deny gay people the right to live and love and care for each other as they please, with full and equal protection under the law, will seem as absurd as denying women the right to vote and ordering black people to sit in the back of the bus.
Eight states and the District of Columbia have approved gay marriage. We look forward to the day when Illinois joins them.
Until then, like Ron Paul, we’ll keep on pushing.