On Dec. 1, the Illinois Senate passed a measure allowing for civil unions for same-sex couples. That evening, Windy City Times talked with one of the key figures in the fight for this historic developmentEquality Illinois' Rick Garcia.
Windy City Times: How are you?
Rick Garcia: I am "exhaustimicated." [Laughs] What two days we've had!
WCT: Besides being "exhaustimicated," what else are you feeling?
Rick Garcia: When you're in that high-intensity environmentputting the votes together, making sure they're going to happenyou don't have time to feel anything; you just have to get things gone. But now that things have settled, I feel ecstatic. I'm very, very proud of the work we've done, and I'm thrilled that, right here in the heart of heartland, a legislature has affirmed same-sex couples and their rights.
WCT: When did you know it was actually going to happen?Read more story below....
Rick Garcia: You know when I knew it was going to happen? When I looked up and the board and saw the numbers. I've been through this for many, many years [laughs] and you think you have the votes; then it either doesn't come up for a vote or you're a couple votes shy. So you know it's real when you sit there and see 62 [the number of votes in favor of the measure in the state House]. You say, "Hallelujah!" and go across the hall, and the same thing.
But the thing that gave me great hope and made me excited: It was when the speaker of the house, the president of the senate and the governor [brought] this issue up last week, saying, "We have to do it. We have to do it." With that kind of support, you can't go wrong.
Read the entire interview with Rick Garcia online at http:// www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29690 .