Illinois House Democrat Rita Mayfield To Gays: “You’ve got civil unions, how much more do you want?”

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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71 Responses

  1. Bob in Chicago says:

    I called Rita Mayfield’s office at 217 558-1012 and spoke to a nice lady and asked her to pass on a message. She assured me she would. I said to ask Mayfield if she is opposed to same sex marriage because it is as good as civil union then how would Rosa Parks feel if she had been told if she can already sit on the back of the bus then why did she need to also sit at the front. I was assured the message would be passed on. I encourage others to make this call.

  2. Bob in Chicago says:

    Also, please facebook this and get the word out. Be polite but ask that the message be passed on.

  3. Rep. Rita Mayfield says:

    Thank you Bob from Chicago for your comments. I have addressed this issue with LGBT advocates both in Springfield and in my district office. My vote on this issue is not personal nor does it cross the line of mixing church with state. I have sworn to uphold the duties of this position representing the desires of the constituents of my district. The survey I sent out didn’t net favorable results for gay marriage. I have offered to hold a town hall in my district but have yet to be contacted by anyone in my district willing to assist. This offer is still open.

    To the author of this blog…I am not a closed minded person. Help me to understand what your goal is. A civil union between two men or two women is supposed to be fundamentally the same as a civil union between a man and a women. What am I missing?

    I am open for further discussion on this matter.

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond.

    Respectfully,

    Rep. Rita Mayfield

    • neil says:

      I would ask your parents why separate but equal was not enough. What more did they want?

    • Bob Fuqua says:

      Representative Mayfield– First, simply put, civil unions are not enough because they are not equal to the legal weight of a marriage. I am not certain about the laws of the state of Illinois, but in many places a civil union does not carry the same weight’ for purposes of in surance, visitation rights, decision making rights, inheritance, child-rearing and custodial rights, community property rights, …..the list goes on. But beyond that, it remains that seperate but equal is still not equal. If a group of our citizens, aside from those who have lost their rights as a result of felonious behaviour, can be denied a common level of civil treatment, to wit, the same rights as every other citizen, then none of our rights are safe. If, at the whim of a majority of the voters, your rights are not sacrosanct, then mine are not safe either. If the lessons taught to us by the era of Jim Crow teach us anything, they teach us that the majority is not always right simply by virtue of being the majority. This is why we have a representational government. It is your job to do and support what is right, even if a majority of the people do not agree.

    • robw77 says:

      Dear Representative Mayfield- Here is a parallel to your arguement of Civil Union vs. Marriage. Church and state traditions hold that traditionally neither African Americans nor women were allowed to vote or hold office. We are liberal however, and do not want to deny you such rights.
      But in keeping with the traditional mores you espouse, we should NOT call you “Representative”. That title is traditionally for white men. We should call you Woman who Was Elected. The men you deal with will be Representatives. But you are now Woman Who Was Elected Mayfield. You can do what they do, but we are just going to call you something else.
      Does that feel OK for you?

    • Roger Henry says:

      Dear Ms. Mayfield, feeling the way that you do on this subject and saying “why isn’t civil unions enough”, would you be prepared to legally give up the rights, protections, entitlements that your marriage provides, or if not married, to give up future rights, protections, entitlements? If not, why? Please respond.

    • Steve Philbrick says:

      Representative Mayfield, I’ll keep it short and to the point. This is NOT an instance where “majority rules.” It is clearly a issue of equal rights for everyone.

      I noticed from your picture that you are a person of color. Do you think that it was OK for the white majority (at the time) to prevent persons of color from having equal rights?

    • Drew says:

      I appreciate that you took the time to respond and at least seem open to discussing the issue. My initial response looked a lot like those below, and I still have to wonder why it would even occur to you that seperate but not equal is the same considering your ethnic background. I won’t be crude about pointing out the flaw in your logic, but will just ask that you truly consider what it means to be equal vs. what it means to have something similar to appease the majority when the clear, moral thing to do is to grant equality regardless of what the majority thinks. Although equality is guaranteed in our constitution, it takes brave people willilng to stand for what is right, often against many saying it’s not, to bring true equality.

    • Lori says:

      Rita,
      Hi Rita,
      I am emialing you because my future rests in your hands. How do you ask? The reason is because you have
      a chance to vote for my future. You have a chance to vote for my family. You have a chance to vote and give thousands of
      people the freedom to live their lives with that one person they love, the one they were born to live with. Unlike you, I am not able to marry my partner in the way you are.

      Rita, you should look at the polls today. The polls you referenced your numbers from in your article from last night, were from a year ago. The world has evolved even in the last 10 months. The people at the library last night were not listening to the information they were given regarding marriage. Tell me what’s going to happen when one of their family members comes out gay because as sure as they believe in God, one them is eventually going to come out gay.

      This is not a “Religious” issue. People have taken this vote out of context. This vote is about freedom, the freedom to live and love who I was “BORN’ to be with. The focus on everybodys mind is “Religion”. God created every man (PERSON) equally therefore, we should be given the “EXACT” same rights.

      You, Rita, as a black person, whose family was forced to participate in slavery, where black people had no rights, none, where white people treated black people as if they were not human, you come from this background. YOU of all people should be voting YES for Marriage Equality. You know how it is to be classified as a second citizen.

      I am no different than anybody except that I was “BORN’ gay. I have no choice. I either live being a gay person or I die trying. I am a mother of 2 teenage boys, I have everything but the freedom to marry my love of my life. It should not matter to the people who I want to marry, it is my choice. Remember the constitution, freedom for everyone.

      I would only hope that you do what’s right and let GAY people live our lives as we were born to live. I AM GAY. I will always be GAY. GOD made me GAY. I tried to be straight and ended up in a DIVORCE, thanks to SOCIETY!!!!!

      I am asking you one more time, be on the right side, on the historic side, on the side that you know in your heart is right.
      Vote YES to Marriage Equality.

      Thank you for you time,
      Lori Johnson (please allow me to marry my girlfriend!!)

      .

    • JC says:

      You know Miss Mayfield, the LGBT community aided in the fight for your right to be able to sit anywhere on a bus you would like, and use any restroom you desire. How about we strip you of your voting rights and send your ass to the back of the bus for a week, then maybe you would know the answer to your question “what more do we want”. Ignorant asshole

    • Alicia says:

      “My vote on this issue is not personal nor does it cross the line of mixing church with state.”

      Except when you bring your church (which happens to be in your district) into the matter; that’s personal, and it IS mixing church and state. How about taking your own advice: what you do at home needs to stay at home–that includes worship-driven points of view.

      As someone born there, I’m embarrassed that you “represent” any district in Illinois, let alone call yourself a Democrat. I’m also put off by your inability to communicate in a non-bigoted and cogent manner, but your electorate doesn’t seem to mind it at all. Check to see they’re breathing.

    • Gary Ford says:

      Strom Thurman. If he had his way, you would still be picking cotton. Good thing there were responsible people in the congress that corrected that wrong.

    • Mike says:

      Wow, Rita, changing from the oppressed to the oppressor in one generation. That has to be a record.

    • Thomas Otto says:

      Wow.
      Dear Rep. Rita Mayfield:
      Civil Rights are not something that should be decided by a majority vote. Do you think that racial civil rights would have been passed by public referendum. I cannot comprehend why political leaders think this way. You should LEAD on moral issues not hide behind the prejudice of your constituents.

      As Rachel Maddow says ” Here’s the thing about rights. They’re not supposed to be voted on…That’s why they call them RIGHTS”.

    • David says:

      If you change the laws where civil unions provides me with the same benefits as a marriage, then it is irrelevant in my opinion. However, since I cannot sponsor my same sex partner for immigration purposes, I cannot claim my partner on my tax return, and I am deprived of many other rights my straight friends take for granted I strongly encourage you to support my right to marry my partner. Separate is not equal in this country. I am not a second class citizen because I was born gay. Please progress in your thoughts and recognize I am entitled to be happily married to my partner.

    • Scott Rose says:

      I just called your district office, and the person on the phone told me that you DO support equality. That is not what I’m seeing in the comments above, though. If you have told your office staff to lie to the public about your position, just to shut people up, that would not reflect well on you.

    • Fred C. says:

      And if our fore-fathers use surveys to cast votes, seating arrangements on the bus would have been unchanged. Don’t say you maintain a separation of church and state; you push the agenda that you want based on your needs and beliefs regardless of whether or not they are right for the rest of us.

    • Russ Klettke says:

      Rep. Mayfield, I would expect someone in an elected position who is speaking publicly on a topic to be better informed on that topic.

      The cases pending before the federal Supreme Court may rule that states where same-sex marriage is provided will therefore enable those couples to qualify for the more than 1,000 rules and statutes in the IRS and other codes. This does not apply to the term “civil union” because on the the word “marriage” is in those codes. Consequently, Illinois couples who practice all the responsibilities of marriage and commit to it as would a heterosexual couple should be treated equally, as state and federal tax payers. This can make a significant difference in particular to elderly LGBT citizens who might lose a home and retirement supports (including survivor social security) if they fail to be able to prove a marriage relationship existed before their spouse passed away.

      You need to consider real people living as they were born, and die, instead of your uninformed perception of “lifestyle” choices. It is a biological orientation that a person does not choose. Please become better educated on this. You owe just that much to the taxpayers in this state.

    • Josh Hayes says:

      I’m not sure it’s your constituents job to educate you about the legal distinctions between marriage and civil unions, Rep. Mayfield. I believe the distinctions are clear to anyone who has been paying the slightest bit of attention. I would expect that to include you as a lawmaker. Please remember, Ms. Mayfield, that you also represent LGBT constituents, whether you agree with their “lifestyle” or not …

    • Dave Gordon says:

      Representative Mayfield: If you are being honest and truly believe “A civil union between two men or two women is supposed to be fundamentally the same as a civil union between a man and a women. (sic)” then why do you oppose same-sex marriage? Makes no sense to me.
      And, can you quantify your survey data (“survey data indicates her constituents don’t support legalizing gay marriage,”), insofar as its comprehensiveness vs. the PPI statewide poll, or any of the other polling data showing overwhelming support for same-sex marriage? It would be interesting to see what this data driving your decision is based upon (i.e., sample size, demographics, question arrays, weighting, etc.).

    • Joe says:

      What you are missing is the fundamental rights that marriage recognition establishes. This should not have to be explained.

    • Michael says:

      Well, once upon a time, segregation was probably “more favorable” among some of your constituents and I’m certainly glad those in the 60’s did not sit idly by with “mixed emotions”. The state of Alabama had a governor who was well in the running to become president of the United States who said, “I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” … Im also pleased the people didn’t sit by idly with “mixed emotions” and permit that to happen. With many connections in IL, I have forwarded your statements on to the LGBTI communities and rest assuredly, unless you change your stance, will no longer support you. While I will refrain from making it personal, it really does sadden me that the same grassroots movements which have allowed you to become what you are; you sit idly by with “mixed emtions” and allow marginalization to continue. I also urge you to watch the movie, “FISH OUT OF WATER”. It takes all those passages in the bible you may refer too and breaks them down. It is not coming from ONE viewpoint but several in the theological community. It really does help shape your perspective. It will also question things you were led to believe in the church. Gay marriage is no threat to traditional marriage, Divorce, Infidelity, and adultery are the 3 most common threats to traditional marriage.

      awaiting your response.
      http://www.fishoutofwaterfilm.com/

  4. maria says:

    mayfield is bad news. she recently introduced a bill that would require workers to pay back insurance companies for appointments they missed in work comp claim. yet she was endorsed by various labor unions. labor and lbgt should join together and oppose this woman.

  5. Dan says:

    “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
    —Nelson Mandela

  6. Wil in Chicago says:

    Keep your bigoted church-lifestyle to yourself Rita. There is no place in government for bigotry.

  7. Mike Mannino says:

    Hey Will, I didn’t have a problem with a word you wrote until you dropped this bomb ” is the typical Midwest small-minded politician.” A lot of us in the Midwest are pretty darn open minded, not to mention liberal and decent folks. I suspect you’ve been fighting stereotypes all your life, and I applaud you for it. Just do me a favor and don’t go making the same mistakes as your enemies.

    • Will Kohler says:

      Sorry Mike.

      You are right it is a characterization and for that I apologize. But I live on the OH/KY border and there does seem to be alot of bigoted politicians in the Midwest at least around here. But I do understand where you are coming from.

  8. Eric says:

    I wonder if Miss Mayfield believes America would be a better place if inter-racial couples had settled for ‘civil unions’ in 1967 instead of pushing for full marriage rights? I mean, what else would they need? Why would having their families considered equal to racially pure families be important to them, if they got ‘most’ of the rights of marriage with civil unions?

    Obviously, in 1967, most of Miss Mayfield’s constituents would have supported those bans as well, as did 70% on Americans at that time. And before some one makes the bigoted point that race is not chosen, like homosexuality, let me point out to you that race mixing is a chosen behavior that the majority of Americans found that behavior sinful, disgusting, and bad for children. (Sound familier)

    I also would like Miss Mayfield to explain to my daughter, why her family should be singled out to labeled as second class by her government – and why she doesn’t deserve the rights, privileges and protections of family law that are only available through marriage.

    I hardly think that ‘my constituents are bigoted, so I need to represent them with bigoted votes’ is an appropriate response to her lack of leadership. Had previous generations taken that course of action, I doubt if she would have been elected today.

    Miss Mayfield – like anyone who would stand in the way of equality for gay and lesbian families, is an obvious bigot. She needs to be reminded that gay couples and their children are her constants too, and that she as much as anyone should be aware that civil rights should not be subject to a popular vote.

  9. What a load of bollocks! We want the same rights as everyone else. It’s sickening that people have to vote on other people’s rights. Keep your religion to yourself!

  10. Eric says:

    Hey Rita – why do you need to ride in the front of the bus? shouldn’t you be satisfied to just get on the bus? I mean really, what more do you need?

  11. Will Kohler says:

    Ms. Mayfield.

    If you do some simple research you will find that in area after area, whether tax law, health insurance, hospitalization, family issues, personal finance and actions by state and local officials, Illinois same sex couples who are in Civil Unions are STILL being treated unequally or denied their rights, or singled out for discrimination in Illinois. As we learned in history, separate does not make equal.”

    report also found that hospitals restricted patient access to same-sex civil union partners, and that civil partners could not pick up prescriptions for each other.

    Theres also problems with name changes allowed under state civil unions, particularly when it came to applying them to federal documents. Same-sex couples in civil unions have also had trouble with adoption, foster parent and birth certificate conventions, and have been stymied while trying to adopt.

    Civil union couples trying to buy homes together faced additional expenses, according to the report.

    And the list goes on and on.

    I will be issuing a more statement to your comments here shortly.

    Please check back

    • Bob in Chicago says:

      Rep Mayfield –

      Your argument is so weak that I am embarrassed for you and the state of Illinois. Quite simply you claim that the people you represent are opposed to same sex marriage. I bet those same people are also opposed to your civil rights. But I bet you would not represent them if they were in favor of segregated schools or opposed to mixed marriages. Your ignorance and bigotry are directing your actions. I am sorry to be harsh but you are on the wrong side of history.

  12. Eric says:

    bigoted cow.

    • Stephanie says:

      Eric,

      I, too, find this view to be bigoted, but I don’t appreciate the insult of “cow” tacked on to the end, especially as it has become an incredibly gendered insult – you wouldn’t call a man a “cow.” Also, what are you referring to here? Weight? Judging someone on their gender or weight is no better than judging them on their sexual orientation.

      That said, Rep. Mayfield – I live in Illinois. Like countless other little girls, I grew up dreaming about my wedding. The kind of dress. The flowers. The color schemes. The band. The fact that I’m a lesbian doesn’t mean I’m not just like all those other little girls.

      Before the argument can be made that “I can still have all those things,” I will acknowledge that you’re right. I can have a big production. But prepping for your “commitment ceremony” or “civil union celebration” is just not the same thing as prepping for your wedding. When people tell me they’re getting married, that means something. It’s a word that carries a lot of weight in our society – it means that you have found someone you love, cherish, respect, and want to spend the rest of your life next to.

      Arguing that a civil union is the same thing as a marriage is laughable. If I were to tell you I’m getting a civil union, what does that term hold for you? I bet you’re thinking that I get to enter into a legally binding contract that protects certain rights and privileges typically extended to married couples. Civil unions are about rights. Marriage is about love.

      I don’t need my marriage recognized by religious institutions that don’t accept me. I fully support the language of initiatives we’re seeing this year (like in Maine and Maryland) that specifically protect religious institutions from retribution for failure to recognize relationships like mine. I’m not about abridging religious freedom.

      I am about fighting discrimination. “Marriage” in religious institutions is not at all what I’m concerned about. I’m concerned that my government consistently tells me I’m a second-class citizen. If my government is willing to extend rights to me in a civil union, why is it reluctant to afford me the same term as my straight counterparts?

      You say it’s not about church and state, but it is. As far as the government is concerned, a marriage should be between two consenting adults, regardless of gender. There is no explanation for dividing your constituents into two classes of citizens other than adhesion to a religious idea.

      This is long, but the fact is that civil unions are different in so many ways that have nothing to do with rights. If my partner gets into an accident and I walk into a hospital and say “we’re married; I’m her wife,” that is understood. If I walk in and say “we’re civil unioned,” there is hesitation. A need to check what rights have to be afforded to me and which may be withheld. Also it sounds completely ridiculous. It invalidates my relationship more than it acknowledges it.

      That was long. I would apologize for that fact, but I think my rights are important enough to warrant it.

  13. Lannea Rae says:

    2 Points.
    1. Equality
    2. Seperation of church and state.

  14. Eric says:

    The ‘cow’ reference was used because she is female, but not because I have anything against females – and has no bearing on her weight. (I have a few extra pounds myself.) I use the word cow as an expression of extreme disrespect, for her, and for her position on this issue. She is an obvious bigot. I refuse to grant bigots respect of any kind, as they refuse to grant my family the respect of equal treatment under law. So I repeat. Ms Mayfield is a bigoted cow. Thank you for the chance clarify.

    • chris says:

      Disrespecting someone is not going to encourage them to engage in conversation with you and be open to discussing a different view point. We aren’t going to achieve equality by attacking others.

  15. Eric says:

    …and I’ve sent the bigoted cow an article from the Yale law school detailing all of the reasons civil unions are different from marriage – so her statement that no one responds to her or has explained why marriage is important to us is false. she’s a lying bigoted cow.

  16. PretaniVirago says:

    Honestly I find it astounding that a women of color, in THIS country of all places, actually has the audacity (or is it willful ignorance) to pose such a question. I suspect it is a window into her true feelings about gay people – we are subpar and not worthy of equality. I also suspect that her religion plays a distinct part in this willful ignorance.
    Separate but equal – do we really need to explain this to you, ma’am?

  17. I called the number and left a message. I’m appalled that a democrat would impose her personal relegious views into her politcal role.
    Shameful, I should have asked, ” Tell Rita that Lincoln freed the slaves, wasn’t that enough? why did you need civil rights?”

  18. Representative Mayfield,

    You say that you based your decision on a survey you sent to your constituents that failed to get a favorable response supporting gay marriage. Imagine if civil rights for African-Americans, in the South in particular, had been decided solely based on elections or the will of representatives who sent out surveys to their white constituents asking if they were in favor of extending equal rights to African-Americans? What likely outcome would you imagine with that scenario? Civil rights were not granted based on a vote by the majority of the people; it was decided by federal decree by people who took the moral high ground for what they knew to be right and just. Please step up and take the moral high ground for what is right and just now. You don’t have to agree with gay marriage personally, nor do the majority of your constituents. I only ask that you be tolerant of our right to have equal access to the same laws that you take for granted.

  19. Anita M. Garces says:

    I am unsure why people can not understand what love is. Why does love need approval, just accept it.

  20. Eric Paige says:

    Ms. Mayfield’s position is troubling at best, however, tagging her photo ‘Bitch’ serves no purpose and in fact may make a bad situation worse. As a gay man, I understand and share your anger, but please take the high road.

  21. Kenneth says:

    Rep. Mayfield. I can appreciate your sense of wanting to represent your constituents as they would like to be represented, however, let’s take a strong look at the history of this country. Not that long ago, those same constituents would not allow a black person marry a white person, let your parents eat in the same restaurant as them, or worse yet wanted to keep a few slaves on the side. The argument of “Im just doing what my constituents want” is not a valid one when it comes to civil rights and equality. Please move to the right side of history on this issue.

  22. Brian says:

    As an elected official, you should represent the people of your district. If they oppose marriage equality, then that is the voice of your people. However, Miss Mayfield, you were also elected to represent the constitution and guide the people you represent to a brighter and better future. Show the people of your district, the American people, and future generations, the path toward a better and more equal future. Abraham Lincoln did it and look where it took you.

  23. Ron says:

    Ask her if she’d like a return of separate but equal.

  24. Illinois “Civil Unions” will not allow me to file a joint federal tax return with my partner. It will now allow me to obtain my partner’s social security benefits upon his death. There are many, many ways in which your “separate but equal” civil unions are not EQUAL!

  25. Debi says:

    I do have a question for Rep. Mayfield. Are civil unions good enough for you? You see, LGBT folks are only asking for equality. So, if it’s good enough for you and the people you support, it’s should be good enough for us. I don’t think you, or the people you support, would be happy to lose 1100 benefits given to you after you get married. That also means when you leave your state that you have a civil union in, you are not Civil Union’ed in any other state. Is that good enough for you?

  26. Jason says:

    For the love of god!! Shut up! There is a separation of Church and State! Read what our founding fathers wrote. Why why why does religion come into conversation when we are talking law!

    • TONI says:

      BECAUSE GOD SAID OBEY THE LAW, TO GIVE TO CAESAR WHAT BELONGS TO CAESAR AND GIVE TO GOD WHAT BELONGS TO GOD AND I FEEL THIS IS IN EVERYTHING I RATHER PLEASE GOD THAN MAN ANY DAY SHES DOING THE RIGHT THING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Brian Norris says:

    By stating gays already have enough, you are doing a huge disservice to the people and quite frankly, are a disgrace to all the black leaders who fought so hard for civil rights. You of all people should get this. I’m sure many of the civil rights bills were VERY unpopular, but courageous people stepped forward and did the right thing. DO THE RIGHT THING AND GIVE PEOPLE EQUAL RIGHTS. If you cannot support that, then get out of office.

  28. Don says:

    I’d ask her what she’d think of having her marriage changed to a civil union and all the rights that come with marriage taken away from her.

  29. LeShawn says:

    Is she another one that is upset because “the gays” are stealing their thunder and diminishing the power of the “race card”. Is she upset because a truly unequal minority is stealing the spot light away from “her personally experienced history of oppression”…. Please… This woman is a failure to the people and as a human being.

    Equality was good enough when it benefited her. Now, we have conditions?

  30. Rita Shame on you says:

    I just called her office — she claims to be “misquoted”, but the gentleman I spoke with says he hasn’t read or seen her comments. Please call her office at 847-599-2800 or Springfield 217-558-1012 and voice your concerns. It’s outrageous that some religions would want her covered up completely in black and at home rather than in the workforce — she’d be appalled by that. But here she is, inflicting her religious beliefs on us. Shame on you, Rita Mayfield. I am ashamed to be an Illinoisian.

  31. Greg says:

    Dear representative, when you say you “don’t get it” do you mean no one has explained the legal differences to you or you just don’t buy the argument? I would hope someone in support of SB 10 has been given time to educate you. You represent more than your church constituents in your district; and your implication that gay church members behave in some particular and unacceptable way is offensive at best. ( Also, do you care to share the question, distribution, methodolog, response rate and results of your own survey on gay marriage?) Please learn how to judge each person on their own merits and not on a group stereotype. You want the same for yourself, your church and your district I’m certain. As for marriage, no one marriage in its success or failure is an indication of the validity or sanctity of the next or the institution. To deny one loving couple the right to marry as a state statute is shameful and it is difficult for me to see how that is not discrimination. And I think you are smart enough to get that too.

  32. Brian says:

    Dear Rita Mayfield,
    1) Where did you exactly do the poll? – It matters a lot when you’re asking this sensitive question in the city of Chicago, where most Illinois residents live or in the suburb with a community of 50 people or less. You need to open up where you get the poll information. ‘Cause I can assure you, if you do the poll in the city of Chicago, your poll result is only going to be favorable toward gay marriage.

    2) How many people have you asked (like 50? or 5?)? What is your sample size?

    3) As for your statement about how we should be fine with civil union, I am completely disgusted by it ’cause this is why the American people are stuck, are over-run by other countries innovation. You have to move on with the pace of the society. The society has changed. You have to keep up with you.

    In 50 years, you know that gay marriage will be in place. And at that time, I will remember you, as one of those idiotic people who can’t take a change and fight for the minority who is facing hardship in the society. I will remember to tell my next generation how people, like you, are so caught up with their personal interest, and leaving people behind. I will tell everyone about you.

  33. Charley Sullivan says:

    Rep. Mayfield:

    Hoping that its really you who posted above, thank you for being willing to wade into the fray.

    If Domestic Partnerships are “enough” for us in your book, I hope that you, if you are indeed married, will leave marriage and join us in DP land? After all, what more would YOU want? Or is it just OK that you get more because of who God gave you to love?

    And, with all due respect, your church’s theology on this is just plain wrong and needs to evolve.

    In Christian Love
    A nice gay Quaker man

  34. Aaron says:

    FULL EQUAL government issued CIVIL Marriage only. You tax us equally, therefore you WILL treat us equally 100% as we are; You ingrate bitch.

  35. Aaron says:

    I dont’ care what your church does and does not want in SECULAR law. They church pays no taxes therefore they have no say in American law. You are not allowed to dictate law based on your religion or any religion, see first amendment – very first sentence and you are NOT allowed to demand citizens who do not adhere to your religion adhere to it through SECULAR government laws. That would be illegal, unconstitutional, and anti-American. Your anti-gay constituents have NO say in the matter either. The law pertains to LGBT tax payers only, therefore they are the only ones you are obligated to listening to.

  36. And we’ve abolished slavery, so how much more do you want?

  37. Tom says:

    My husband of 15 years is from the commonwealth. If he was a female I’d sponsor him,get him here, and get a $45 marriage license and be done with it living happily ever after. Instead it means international commuting on a regular basis (yes, flying to Europe every six weeks), hundred thousand $ + in legal fees, maintaining 2 households, and eventually when we are together under the same roof full time still not having the same rights as any 2 drunks that get married and divorced on a Las Vegas weekend. What more do I want? Only the same rights as any other US citizen. Your vote does affect my life. Think about it.

  38. Tim says:

    The Black Ministers and Chicago Archdiocese have played a huge role in preventing the House to vote on Marriage Equality last week. This fact alone further proves that our Representatives are NOT separating Church & State!

    Ms. Mayfield, the fact that you are quoted saying that you personally have “mixed emotions” about gay marriage and noted that members and leaders of your church — the New Way of Life Church of God in Christ (is that a one of those storefront churches where the head minister lives a rich & lofty lifestyle who also doesn’t pay taxes due to all assets owned by his Church?) — disapproves of “that lifestyle.” You also were quoted saying “We do not allow those types of behaviors in our church at all,” and “Not that you can’t come there, but if you do you’re not going to be blatant. What you do at home needs to stay at home.” tells me your stand is based on your religious views. You and every elected official on local, state and national levels need to remember to separate Church and State on ALL issues you were elected to represent and vote on.

    Ms.Mayfield, re: your district’s year-old survey…what % of your district completed the year-old survey…was it a significant sample size/response to use as your district’s stand on the issue (I agree with Lori that using a year old survey is not right given how the Nation has shifted very favorably to supporting Marriage Equality)? Please rely with how many surveys were sent out, total number of “yes” and total number of “no” votes submitted along with the wording of the question(s) re: Marriage Equality.

    Further, why is it you need someone to “assist” you to get a town hall meeting in place? I am sure you have a team of assistants working in your District office who are paid to assist you on all things related to your taking oath to represent your constituents. Your town hall meeting excuse is a poor excuse. You have your assistants, along with many who worked on your election who I am sure would assist you, IF you asked, to coordinate this meeting! Get it done!

    Finally, Marriage Equality provides gay couples with significant differences in rights & benefits versus Civil Unions. Do your homework and you will hopefully learn, similar to Blacks and Women fighting for rights back in the day, that voting YES for Marriage Equality is no different than when rights were provided to Blacks & Women! It would be a huge disappointment for the State of Illinois to not vote this in now versus waiting for the Supreme Court to pass it Nationally. EVERYONE, regardless of sexual-orientation, race, disabilities, income, etc. SHOULD HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS GRANTED BY STATES/GOVERNMENT!!! Do not make the LGBT Citizens 2nd Class Citizens.

  39. Billy says:

    We should have the same rights as everyone else. Civil union is not the same as marriage.

  40. Johnny says:

    Ms. Mayfield-
    It’s nice to see that you responded to this article. I do hope you are reading all the responses and that you will be better informed about how civil unions are definitely NOT the same as a civil marriage. I think everyone has so far, correctly pointed out the hypocrisy of you saying the majority should decide the matter when you know good and well that if you apply the same logic to racial matters, that your life would be entirely different than it is now. Be brave. Do the right thing and support marriage equality for all. Where it has be legalized, the only thing that it has brought is increased tax dollars and a fairer place to live.

  41. Sybil Bruncheon says:

    This woman isn’t old enough (or smart enough!) to understand her deeply offensive and bigoted stance….her mother and grandmother have failed miserably……

  42. David Hodo says:

    “The difference between “genius” and “stupidity” is that genius has it’s limits.”

  43. Max says:

    Shame on all of you for tearing apart Ms. Mayfield, when she actually took the time to respond.
    Whatever her positions (and I disagree with them completely) I wish we had MORE politicians like Ms. Mayfield, who are willing to interact with the public, rather than just dismissing it.

    Ms. Mayfield,
    I applaud your courage in delving into this muck and chaos to hear our opinions on the matter. I know others have made the case for gay marriage before me, and will continue to do so. I am sorry so many of them cannot tone down their vociferousness, but such is life.
    Here is my appeal, in the form of a poem I wrote when prop 8 was on the ballot.

    Freedom Goes Both Ways
    Harrison max Pfingsten

    From the Huguenots of France
    to the natives of this land
    their oppressors always judged them
    with a Bible in their hand
    Those fellows on the Mayflower
    who sought refuge cross the sea
    fled religious persecution
    and fascist tyranny
    and when this land was founded
    our forefathers ensured
    that the same thing which their father’s fled
    need never be endured
    they separated church and state
    to bring people relief
    from others messing up their lives
    because of their belief
    just because your neighbor
    does some things you think are wrong
    doesn’t mean you cant reside
    in peace and get along
    to forget this would be to miss
    what makes this country great
    that religious ideas do not steer
    the sailing of the state
    that we can practice what we want
    without fear of retribution
    from those who deem our ways perverse
    and seek our execution
    so remember in November
    if you think the gays are wrong
    that all faiths were once heresy
    and oppressed by the strong
    to deny rights to someone
    your beliefs would deign impure
    undermines the policies
    which keep your faith secure

  44. Jeannie says:

    Because equal means equal…..simple enough? Nothing less than that counts. You should know that. Unless you ignore history. Women.blacks. Get it?

  45. Kelly says:

    I’d rather give my vote to the homophobic conservative than the homophobic democrat.

  46. Travis says:

    Slavery was abolished what more do you want?

What do you think?