Meeks explains "no" vote on civil unions bill

December 2, 2010

Produced by Illinois Public Radio and City Room

Democratic state Sen. James Meeks, D-Chicago, said he stands by his "no" vote on civil unions.

Pundits say it could hurt his bid to be Chicago's next mayor because of a possible backlash from Chicago's politically-active gay and lesbian community.

“You know, I don’t think that a person should vote on a bill of this magnitude based on the next office,” Meeks said. “I think they should base their vote on what they believe. And I believe that this is a bill about marriage, and I believe that the sanctity of marriage should be protected, and it should be between a man and a woman.”

Meeks said his stance may help win him support from voters who share his beliefs. Meeks is also a reverend who heads the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago.