Illinois Governor Blagojevich’s Shenanigans Stalls Civil Unions

As if you need another reason to hate Gov. Rod Blagojevich. The Illinois Governor accussed of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat to the highest bidder (among a host of other corruption charges) has left the Illinois legislature in disarray, effectively destroying any hope of the state passing the Illinois Religious Freedom and Civil Unions Act. The Chicago Tribune reports:

“First proposed in 2007 and running out of time before the current legislature expires, the bill would grant same-sex couples many of the rights given to opposite-sex married couples. There are two remaining legislative days on lawmakers’ calendar in January–but its sponsor said it would take a back seat to the state’s ongoing budget crisis.

And it seemed still less likely to be called after FBI agents arrested Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich on federal corruption charges Tuesday, casting state leadership into disarray.

“Everything has been trumped by what happened,” said state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the measure’s sponsor in the House. A similar bill was introduced in the state Senate by Sen. David Koehler (D-Pekin.)

“Our focus now is how will the state keep functioning,” Harris said.”


For some gays and lesbians, there’s a silver lining to the bill’s death. The bill has many detractors in the gay community who say that anything less than full marriage-equality is discriminatory.

In related news, Blagojevich’s sister-in-law, prominent lesbian activist Deb Mell was elected to the State Senate this past November, raising the possibility she may have to vote on her sister’s husband’s guilt or *eye roll* innocence. That is, if she doesn’t take over Rahm Emmanuel’s Senate seat. She filed her papers for the upcoming special election to the fill the seat last month.