The question's out there of whether James Meeks, a Baptist minister and former senator, can be fair as chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education if he does not embrace gay rights. A response is that that questioner would not be fair to Meeks himself.  On the floor Thursday, State Sen. Heather Steans read a statement from LGBT groups objecting to the appointment of Meeks. Ultimately, she voted Present while only one senator voted No.
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“Every day we start here (in the Senate) with a prayer, and that's okay. But we cannot inject that into government, and we cannot alienate other populations,” said that No voter, State Sen. Willie Delgado (D-Chicago).
“For a gentleman who has served, and as a minister of the Baptist faith, I believe he has at least demonstrated that he can be a man who will look at issues objectively,” said State Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago).
“There are concerns from the LGBT community about his stance on anti-bullying and those kinds of issues,” Steans said afterward, affirming her confidence in Meeks' educational leadership. “I voted Present just in balancing all of this out.”
AM 990009 has passed the Senate, 45-1-1.
(Copyright WBGZ / )