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ELECTION COUNTDOWN

Chicago Pol’s Continuing “Evolution” On Gay Marriage Is Pissing Off Windy City Queers

Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL) thought she’d borrow a page from President Obama and explain she “grapples” with same-sex marriage.

The problem is, the President moved beyond that point—coming out in favor of marriage equality—and Biggert, a Republican, hasn’t.

And Chicago’s LGBT community is upset Biggert, 75, accepted a $500,000 donation from American Unity PAC, founded by hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer to push for marriage equality, but is still skittish.

In a press conference after a debate with Democratic opponent Bill Foster, Biggert said she was still on the fence about gay marriage—then compared it to bigamy and polygamy.

“Let’s wait and see what the courts have to say. It is a state issue—we don’t have polygamy and bigamy and all of these things in the federal government. It’s the states that take care of that, and I’ve worked in this realm with the estate planning.”

But Biggert said she understood the sting of discrimination:

“I was discriminated against when I went to law school. I was told I was taking the place of someone who belonged there—a man. From that point, I don’t want to see discrimination against anyone.”

After initially opposing same-sex marriage, Foster has come around to our side. About Biggert, he told the Tribune:

“She has not yet evolved. So, she’s crawling out of the swamp or something… I’m all dry, fluffed off and happy to be a hominid.”

On Friday, Biggert’s campaign issued a statement:

“Like many Americans, the Congresswoman grapples with the idea of marriage for same-sex couples. The point she was making in the debate is that states – not the federal government – give out marriage licenses and make the determination about parameters for marriage, like they do for example in terms of age.

The reference to polygamy and bigamy were in that context and she certainly did not mean to make a comparison between that and loving same-sex couples. She remains committed to the LGBT community and opposes efforts to write discrimination into the Constitution to take rights away from people.”

Oh well that makes it so much better!

Biggert’s not an archenemy—she received a 70 on HRC’s Congressional Score Card, supports ENDA and voted to give benefits to partners of LGBT federal employees.

But the reality is, once upon a time even well-meaning people could dodge supporting full marriage equality for gays and lesbians. No major one was really endorsing it, and it wasn’t a litmus test. You could just announce you’re “grappling” or “evolving”—when what you really meants was, “Ask me again when the zeitgest has shifted.”

Well it’s happened—it is happening—and now sitting on the fence can feel like worse than standing against us.

 

  • 10 Comments
    • Sohobod
      Sohobod

      Forget the boring marriage story – she’s 75!? Why didn’t anyone think to ask her how she she keeps her looks?

      Oct 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 2eo
      2eo

      @Sohobod: Like all politicians they survive by drinking the blood of the working class.

      Oct 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petensfo
      petensfo

      I was thinking the same thing… and assumed the photo had been significantly brushed or is several years old.

      In any event, grapple all you want, lady. But as you’ve stated, you worked in Estate Law, so regardless of the fact that same-sex couples might keep you up at night, how exactly do you come to terms with penalizing their children with anything less than equal benefits?

      The families are out there, and gov’t doesn’t place a judgement on any other family, it just figures out how to meet a need.

      So, call it what it is… plain ol’ bigotry, yet again.

      ps: loved the story about experiencing discrimination at university… it’s not too late to make amends for being wrong.

      Oct 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Larry McD
      Larry McD

      @2eo: Bravo!

      Oct 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marc sfe
      marc sfe

      “The point she was making in the debate is that states – not the federal government – give out marriage licenses and make the determination about parameters for marriage, like they do for example in terms of age.”

      Fine lady but what you don’t mention is the fact of the FEDERAL tax benefits married couples receive, get that word, FEDERAL?? Estate tax benefits – again, FEDERAL benefit.

      Interracial couples went through this same thing or don’t you remember that from your law school training? Lady, you’re nothing but a on the fencer who doesn’t want to piss off the republican base so you can get your seat back with your health benefits, retirement, etc. You care NOTHING about equal civil rights.

      Oct 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • marc sfe
      marc sfe

      @2eo: and using her healthcare package from the government for more than a few nips here and tucks there — sheesh- -

      Oct 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rudy
      Rudy

      Being from DuPage County/Westmont Illinois, her district, I am soo glad to see her in the spotlight! This redistricting really hurt her good too!

      Oct 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • flick847
      flick847

      Considering that she is 75, Republican, and from a fairly red part of Chicagoland, I think the fact that she is evolving at all is huge. I know people feel it should be all or nothing sometimes, but it doesn’t always work that way.

      At least she isn’t sliding backwards, which is all most of the GOP seems to be doing these days. I will not be voting for her, as I do not live in her district (Go Tammy Duckworth!), but we should at least give her some credit for not completely writing us off.

      Oct 31, 2012 at 2:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • petensfo
      petensfo

      @flick847: That sounds suspiciously like the “he only beats me sometimes” defense.
      It’s 2012, get on the Equality Bus or get out of public office- especially as a lawyer.

      Oct 31, 2012 at 11:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • flick847
      flick847

      @petensfo: It is incredibly rare for someone in her demographic to even be considering being on our side. I would consider this more as a “They are actually making an effort to be decent so let’s not be so ready to write them off” mode. I imagine due to her age that she may not be in politics much longer. Considering this part of the metro area is pretty red, I am afraid they could replace her with someone we really would have to worry about.

      Oct 31, 2012 at 2:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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