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Popular Topics in Social Sciences
Africa: Sub-Saharan, Pre-Independence
With reports from hundreds of sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance
Stonewall Riots Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between police and demonstrators at the Stonewall Inn in New York City the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 mark the beginning of the modern glbtq movement for equal rights.
Native Americans
A social role for individuals who crossed or mixed male and female characteristics was one of the most widely distributed institutions of native North America.
The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980 The Sexual Revolution, 1960-1980
The sexual revolution of post-World War II America changed sexual and gender roles profoundly.
Mixed-Orientation Marriages
Mixed-orientation marriages--those in which one partner is straight and the other is gay or lesbian--often end in divorce, but such an ending is not inevitable.
Leather Culture
"Leather" is a blanket term for a large array of sexual preferences, identities, relationship structures, and social organizations loosely tied together by the thread of what is conventionally understood as sadomasochistic sex.
Transgender Activism
Since the late nineteenth century, transgendered people have advocated legal and social reforms that would ameliorate the kinds of oppression and discrimination they suffer.
Gay Liberation Front
Formed soon after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, the short-lived but influential Gay Liberation Front brought a new militancy to the movement that became known as gay liberation.
Topics In the News
Disappointment in Illinois
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 06/01/13
Last updated on: 06/01/13
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Rep. Greg Harris.

Despite support for Illinois' marriage-equality bill from President Obama, Governor Ryan, both U.S. Senators, and House Speaker Mike Madigan, the state House of Representative adjourned on May 31, 2013 without voting on the bill, which was passed by the state Senate in February. A tearful Representative Greg Harris, the openly gay chief sponsor of the bill, announced that some lawmakers had requested more time to consult their constituents and that he would not be calling for a vote on the measure.

Despite 71 Democratic Representatives in the House, the marriage equality bill apparently did not have the 60 votes needed to pass it into law. Representative Harris had previously expressed confidence that the votes were there. When he announced that no vote would be taken, the gallery, which was packed with marriage equality supporters, erupted with groans of disappointment.

In 2011, Illinois instituted civil unions for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Had the marriage equality bill been passed and signed into law, Illinois would have become the 13th state to permit same-sex marriage.

In making his announcement, Harris expressed confidence that the bill would pass in the fall session. "We will be back, and we will be voting on this bill," he said. He also apologized "to the families who were hoping to wake up tomorrow as full and equal citizens of this state."

Immediately following the withdrawal of the bill, finger-pointing began, some blaming Speaker Madigan, who is de facto leader of the Democratic Party in Illinois. Other criticized Harris for withdrawing the bill, arguing that a vote would have at least made clear with Representatives supported the bill and which did not.

In the video below, Representative Harris announces the withdrawal of the bill. His announcement is followed by a passionate speech by openly lesbian Representative Deb Mell.

In the following video, Windy City Times editor Tracy Baim interviews Representative Harris after his dramatic announcement.

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