The Illinois House voted to ban discrimination of gays and lesbians Tuesday, sending the governor a bill that gay rights activists have sought for more than a decade.Well, the opposition sure made a reasoned and compelling argument... there were possible "troubling implications" for "values-based organizations."
Gov. Rod Blagojevich called it "a landmark day in Illinois'' and said he looked forward to signing the legislation.
"This legislation sends a clear message that we will not allow our citizens to be discriminated against,'' Blagojevich said in a statement. ***
Opponents had argued the legislation would lead to approval of gay marriage in Illinois and infringe on the rights of religious or civic organizations to hire certain employees or exclude some from membership.
Proponents, including Blagojevich's gay sister-in-law, Deborah Mell, couched the measure in terms of human rights. They said discrimination of gays and lesbians over housing and employment is just as wrong as discriminating against people because of race or religion. ***
Rep. Terry Parke, R-Hoffman Estates, expressed concerns about the legislation, though, saying that while the proposal makes sense on its face, it hides troubling implications for values-based organizations such as the Boy Scouts or churches.
I guess the Boy Scouts will just have to cowboy-up and deal with the "troubling implications" of Illinois illegalizing the firing and evicting of people simply because they are gay.
And if you just can't bear the idea of living in a society where gays and lesbians can live their lives without worrying about losing their employment and housing, you have other options.