…With Vote to Confirm Homophobe Rev. Meeks
Yesterday the Illinois Senate Committee on Executive Appointments voted nearly unanimously in favor of confirming notorious homophobe Rev. James Meeks as president of the Illinois Board of Education.
Then the full, Democratic-dominated Senate rapidly voted 45 yes, 1 no, and 1 “present” to confirm the nomination.
Besides promoting charter schools at the expense of public education, Meeks is infamous for “disparaging remarks he has reportedly made about the Asian, Latino and Jewish communities,”reported the Windy City Times.
But he’s saved some of his worst bigotry for LGBTQs, repeatedly organizing a “House of Horror” at his mega-church during the Halloween season featuring gays and abortion doctors burning in hell for their alleged sins. His devaluation of LGBTs by his opposition to equal employment, housing, access to public accommodations and marriage rights makes him a particularly poor choice as guardian of the state’s youth, LGBTQ or otherwise.
But however bad Meeks is, he isn’t the only villain in this sorry debacle. Share that title with the super-majority Democrats – controlling 86% of the Illinois Senate – who couldn’t bring themselves to vote against such a manifestly poor choice to be the state’s top educator. Because not only does Meeks hold and vocalize bigoted views against a whole host of minorities, he has no professional qualifications or training as an educator.
So once again, political hackery (voting for a fellow Democrat)trumped qualifications and ethical principles in Illinois politics. Yup, you heard that here first, folks.
In 2013, we only won marriage equality in this state – and then by a squeaker vote – by beating up on the Democrats and calling out Democratic power-broker House Speaker Mike Madigan by name to force his huge Democratic majority to vote in favor of equal rights.
Today, dangerous anti-LGBT “religious liberty” bills are bubbling up around the nation, including in next door Indiana. And yesterday’s near-unanimous Senate votes for anti-LGBT bigot James Meeks show we can ill afford to be complacent in the face of back-stabbing from either political party.
We will need to remain vigilant, and watch for other anti-LGBT moves coming out of the Republican Rauner administration, and Democrats throwing us under the bus.