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Illinois Politics

Who is Leading a New “Attack” on Gay and Lesbian Equality in the Illinois Senate?


(Chicago, IL) – April 12, 2011. The CEO of Illinois’ leading gay rights advocacy group yesterday unleashed an urgent e-mail to its supporters claiming that gay and lesbian equality was “under attack in Illinois!” – but declined to identify the attacker.

“Just moments ago, a two-prong attack was launched in the State Senate on LGBTQ equality,” wrote Bernard Cherkasov Chief Executive Officer of Equality Illinois. “We need you to ACT NOW to stop these attacks decisively in their tracks.”

An amendment was introduced yesterday to existing legislation that would permit religious-affiliated child welfare agencies to refuse to serve civil union couples.

“[The] … proposed legislation would amend the Civil Union law to allow child welfare agencies to discriminate in adoption and foster care services using any religious pretext. This is unacceptable: when it comes to child welfare, there cannot be double standards,” wrote Cherkasov.

Cherkasov identified the offending legislation as Senate Bill 1123. The bill’s sponsor Cherkasov neglected to identify.

Who’s the target of Cherkasov’s outrage?

The sponsor of the legislation attacking gay and lesbian equality is State Senator David Koehler (D-Peoria).

Who is David Koehler?

“This is a historic moment for our State, and we would not have been able to get here without the extraordinary leadership of the bill’s chief sponsors, State Representative Greg Harris and State Senator David Koehler,” said Cherkasov in a statement on December 1, 2010.

Koehler was the senate sponsor of the Illinois gay and lesbian civil unions bill. Koehler also has a openly lesbian daughter.

Ah, friends.

The bill’s amendment will likely be called for a committee vote tomorrow.

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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David Ormsby, Editor

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