Speed Read: Thursday 24 October 2013

1-    VOTES NEEDED JUMPS 60 TO 71: The Chicago Sun Times reported Wednesday that the margin of victory for passing the marriage equality bill in the Illinois House has increased from 60 in September to 71 now. That’s because rules require that any bill that would go into effect within 30 days requires the greater margin. “After January 1, that threshold drops back to 60 votes,” notes the paper. Bill sponsor Rep. Greg Harris would not disclose Tuesday whether he has the votes but Civil Rights Agenda activist Rick Garcia estimated supporters have 55.

2-    RAINBOW SASHES ‘BLASPHEMY’? Supporters of the marriage equality pushed at the Illinois state house this week to have like-minded Catholics wear a rainbow sash and pray a rosary for marriage equality during a mass at the cathedral in Springfield on Tuesday. But Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki issued a press release, saying that praying for same-sex marriage would be considered “blasphemous” and that persons wearing rainbow sashes would be “asked to leave” the cathedral. The Chicago Sun Times said activists did show up at the Cathedral but did not wear rainbow sashes.

3-    AND WHAT IS BLASPHEMY? While he considers praying for same-sex marriage is blasphemous, Bishop Paprocki apparently believes it is perfectly acceptable to pray for a good game of hockey. The Springfield diocese’s website runs a pop-up ad for a book Paprocki co-authored, Holy Goals for Body and Soul. In the book, he recounts how he has prayed for God’s help in playing a hockey game. The book’s opening line: “They call me the ‘Holy Goalie.’”

4-    A GOOD QUESTION: New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Charles Daniels was the most vocal of the five-member court Wednesday in a case where the state was appealing a lower court decision that said state law does not bar marriage licenses for same-sex couples. Among other things, he noted that early laws in New Mexico were written they often used the pronoun “he” in referring to certain people in certain occupations, such as judges and clergy who can perform certain functions.  “Does that mean clergy who are women can’t perform” those functions?

5-    HAWAII BILL ON THE MOVE: A marriage equality bill in Hawaii will get a senate committee hearing Monday, October 28, and, since 22 of its 25 senators have already indicated they support the measure, it is expected to move quickly to the House for another hearing. House Speaker Joseph Souki told Hawaii News Now he thinks the bill will have 29 or 30 votes –well above the 26 it needs to pass the House. The House is expected to vote on November 4 and, if it changes the bill, it would have to go back to the senate on November 6.

6-    REVERSE TECHNOLOGY: There’s a new app available that is designed to help conservative voters spend money with companies that share their values. But the free app –2nd Vote– could be useful to consumers and activists of the liberal persuasion, too.  Companies are given a rating of 1 to 10 – a 10 having the best conservative credentials and a 1 have the worst. Five issues are used to determine the ratings, including the company’s position on marriage for same-sex couples but users can also look up companies based on just one issue. Chick-fil-A is a 10 on the marriage issue. Dick’s Sporting Goods and the Lego Group rate a 6. Starbucks and Target get a 1.

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