Mark Liberson, who owns four gay bars
in Chicago, is publicly criticizing lawmakers who failed to approve a
gay marriage bill.
At the 11th hour last week,
Rep. Greg Harris, the bill's champion in the House, stunned
proponents seated in the public gallery when he announced that
instead of calling the bill for a vote he was postponing it until the
fall. Harris said he had assurances from colleagues that they would
back the bill in November.
That explanation didn't sit well with
Liberson, who has hung banners outside his establishments chiding the
“Equality doesn't need a summer
break!” the banner states. “We want a vote! [House Speaker
Michael] Madigan: beyond denying us the right to marry – you also
deny us the right to know our enemies? Shame, Shame!”
Liberson, who owns Elixer, Halsted's
Bar and Grill, Hydrate Nightclub and Replay, told ChicagoPride.com
that he was “extremely disappointed.”
“Probably the most upsetting thing to
me was the failure to call a vote,” he said. “I feel that by not
calling a vote, we have allowed those who would vote against us to
hide in the shadows rather than forcing them to state their position.
Even if we lost, it would have been clearer to us where to focus our
energies going forward.”