A gay couple, Joe Serio and Paul Dombrowski, talk about the devastating day in May when the Illinois House declined to call a vote on the marriage equality bill. Crain’s Chicago Business reports:
We walked back to the car, devastated, and were faced with the long drive home to Palatine. The next few days, armchair quarterbacks (yes, even gays use that term) discussed the shortcomings of the players involved. Should the politicians and community leaders have made more of an effort to include ethnic and cultural minority groups in the coalition? Absolutely. Should we have put pressure on those state reps that backed out at the last minute to support SB10 or lose the vote? You bet. But the real blame, in our opinion, is placed on all of us. Not us, Paul and Joe, but US, the gay community and our allies.
Change is happening all around. Just in the past few months, Delaware, Minnesota and Rhode Island have approved gay marriage. Countries around the globe including France and New Zealand have done the same. Many of us in the gay community have grown complacent. The zeitgeist is “change will happen, equality will come we just have to wait for it.” This is our biggest mistake. Change will happen, but we have to WORK for it. We need to reach out to people and gain their support and demand equality.
It’s determination like this, even in the face of defeat, that has kept the marriage equality movement going. It kept us moving forward after California banned marriage equality twenty years ago, and again when Prop 8 passed in 2008. And it will keep us going in Illinois until couples there enjoy full marriage equality.