By John Cullerton

pres-cullertonThere is a great deal of irony and symbolism in top officials from Indiana and Wisconsin having to come to a federal courtroom in, of all places, Chicago to seek permission to continue to officially discriminate against some people.

Marriage for gays and lesbians became a reality here in June, and the Illinois Senate would have preferred it happen sooner.

Remember, Indiana and Wisconsin are two states my Republican friends keep telling me we should imitate because they are so business-friendly. Well, yes, unless you happen to be gay or lesbian, in which case Wisconsin and Indiana certainly don’t want any part of your business.

Keep that in mind the next time you see some group touting a report card or study that shows how great the business climate is in those states. Apparently little things like equality don’t factor in.

And if you think I’m being tough on our neighbors, consider the words of federal Judge Richard Posner, who recently authored the court opinion against Wisconsin and Indiana’s ban on gay marriage. In ruling the bans unconstitutional, Posner singled out Indiana’s marriage laws, saying the state had “invented an insidious form of discrimination: favoring first cousins, provided they are not of the same sex, over homosexuals.”

Lest you think Judge Posner to be a liberal leftist, he was appointed to the federal bench by President Reagan and is the same Judge Posner who two years ago authored the opinion striking down Illinois’ ban on the carrying of concealed weapons.

As for Indiana and Wisconsin, I’m quite sure there are lessons we can learn from them, but as Judge Posner’s words show, they’ve got quite a bit to learn from us.

johnjcullertonJohn J. Cullerton
Illinois Senate President