Does Dillard's Gay Marriage Vote Disqualify Him From Being Governor?

Time to drop out, Senator?

In my State Senator Kirk Dillard's political universe, gay marriage is the issue that dare not speak its name. Try to get the Senator to explain his position and you'd better have a lot of patience. After repeated attempts, he finally emailed me with the cryptic statement that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, in spite of the thousands of legally married same sex couples in the US and millions more in the enlightened countries of the world. Although avoiding how he'd actually vote, I got the picture and was not surprised, though thoroughly disappointed, that he voted "NYET". Fortunately, most Senate Democrats and one lone Senate Republican, Jason Barickman of Bloomington, voted to have Illinois join the other 9 states and Washington D.C., who fully believe gays, being US citizens, are entitled to the same civil rights as non-gays. What a novel idea!
Go to Dillard's website and his obtuse mention of the historic Senate passage of marriage equality treats it as a frivolous diversion from the state's business and simply trots out right wing talking points against gay marriage, without mentioning his vote or his personal position. 
We should care about Dillard's NO vote because he is the only one of the 19 GOP Senators officially running for governor. One would think that anyone seeking to be governor of all the people would be careful not to go on record for withholding one of the most basic civil rights, the right to marry your lifetime partner, from hundreds of thousands of your intended subjects.
Why then would Dillard cast such a self destructive and embarrassing vote? One word: Politics. To face a Democrat in the general election Dillard must get past the energized and ultra conservative voters in the GOP primary. He's already lost one such primary by an eyelash to far right conservative Bill Brady, paving the way to Pat Quinn's election in 2010, and he's not about to lose another. By most accounts a moderate, Dillard would be crucified by a far right opponent such as potential Tea Party candidate Joe Walsh had he voted for gay marriage. This is Dillard's "Romney" problem: a moderate who must swear allegiance to ludicrous Republican culture war issues to get past the primary in hopes of convincing the general electorate he's neither a bigot nor a fool in the main event. Good luck with that Senator.
To answer the question, "Does Dillard's no vote on gay marriage disqualify him to be governor", the answer for me is an emphatic YES!  All Illinois voters should ponder this essential civil rights issue he disavowed, to answer that question for themselves.  

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Walt Zlotow February 22, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Cincinnatus, that's what racists said about the Supreme Court and the US Congress overturning their racist Jim Crow laws that denied equal rights to blacks. They argued only the entire racist electorate should decide. That's what states rights was all about - maintaining majority rule legal discrimination. Civil rights cannot be decided by majority rule. They are inherent and inalienable. Dillard only talks referendum to get a pass on having to take a position he know may sink his gubernatorial bid. That is reprehensible political cynicism. What's important to society is we don't discriminate against a minority group who does the majority no harm. Don't you get that?
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 05:26 PM
"it is instructive to recall in this regard that the traditional, well-established legal rules and practices of our not-so-distant past (1) barred interracial marriage,(2) upheld the routine exclusion of women from many occupations and official duties, and (3) considered the relegation of racial minorities to separate and assertedly equivalent public facilities and institutions as constitutionally equal treatment." "If we have learned anything from the significant evolution in the prevailing societal views and official policies toward members of minority races and toward women over the past half-century, it is that even the most familiar and generally accepted of social practices and traditions often mask unfairness and inequality that frequently is not recognized or appreciated by those not directly harmed by those practices or traditions." "Conventional understanding of marriage must yield to a more contemporary appreciation of the rights entitled to constitutional protection. Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice." "To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others." (In re marriage cases)
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 05:26 PM
"In the court’s final analysis, the government’s only basis for supporting DOMA comes down to an apparent belief that the moral views of the majority may properly be enacted as the law of the land in regard to state-sanctioned same-sex marriage in disregard of the personal status and living conditions of a significant segment of our pluralistic society. Such a view is not consistent with the evidence or the law as embodied in the Fifth Amendment with respect to the thoughts expressed in this decision. The court has no doubt about its conclusion: DOMA deprives them of the equal protection of the law to which they are entitled." http://metroweekly.com/poliglot/57794777-DOMA...
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 05:35 PM
"The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." SCOTUS 14 times, the Supreme Court has affirmed marriage is a fundamental right of all persons. Both the 5th and 14th amendments require equal legal treatment for all persons, as promised in the founding documents. Treating others as you would yourself, is a requirement of all religions and even non-religious ethical belief systems. Now is always a good time to put it into practice.
Dan Johnson February 26, 2013 at 05:43 PM
It should come as no surprise that a majority can overpower and marginalize a minority. History gives us plenty of examples. In fact, the founding fathers were well aware of the history of suffering and death inflicted on minorities by majorities, and that is the very reason we have a constitution and bill of rights: to protect minorities from the majority. John Adams, the second U.S. president, bluntly stated that "the majority has eternally, and without one exception, usurped over the rights of the minority." James Madison wrote: “It is of great importance in a republic not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers, but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part … If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure.” Or to paraphrase Franklin, allowing a majority to vote on the equal rights of a minority is like a pack of wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.


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