Monthly Archives: May 2010

A story I told recently

Did I ever tell you this story of how one time I saved Lindsey’s life?

Desert excursion, July 2009

(Responding to concerns about this blog’s lack of romance! and adventure! which our real lives do not lack in the slightest.)

Here is a moral tale for you, kids:

We were riding our camels into the desert, which was great, and it was really hot and beautiful and not as stark as you would think. True, there was scarcely a plant as far as you could see, but the sand was every hue of gold and the dunes were, um, luscious? Seriously.

So our camel guide, Li, goes, Here, I’ll take your camels and you go climb that big dune. Perfect! We’ll climb a big dune and watch the sunset and he will set up some tents and boil water for our ramen.

Here is the trouble with climbing big dunes: it’s hard. Like, it’s really tall and steep and walking in sand requires twice as much effort at least as walking on, say, concrete. So we are a good three-quarters of the way up when Lindsey has an asthma attack. We sit a minute to see if it will clear up (the way asthma attacks never do) and it gets worse. Dear reader, her inhaler was in her backpack. Attached to a camel. Off at the campsite with Li.

Faced with a suffocating girlfriend, I ran down the dune (fun!), over to the campsite (less fun), back to the dune, and then back *up* the dune (not fun at all). My legs gave out twice on the way back up and I thought my heart might explode. It hurt. But the day, and Lindsey’s bronchial tubes, were saved by inhalable steroids, and we made it the rest of the way up. The sunset was magical.

Desert Sunset 2009

Moral of the story: if you are asthmatic, do not leave your inhaler with your camel while you undertake strenuous activity.

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State by state

A month ago (a month!) I took a trip with Equality Illinois to Springfield, IL to lobby my legislators to support SB 1716. SB 1716 proposes to allow two persons in Illinois to enter into a civil union, regardless of gender. Here’s a good overview of Illinois political movement on SB 1716. (Spoiler alert: not much.) It was an excellent day for me to learn more about legislating in Illinois, meet people from all over the state, and leave some friendly notes for my representatives (one of whom was out of town, and one of whom could not be pinned down.)

Bob, Neil, Clif at the Springfield Capitol (Photo mine)

Since then I’ve been up to my ears in my usual organizing with Join the Impact Chicago, as well as joining LGBT Change, as well as dedicating a few hours to this civil unions bill. I’ll get more into that later, but let’s start with every queer’s question on this issue: support a civil unions bill? That is so 2004. Why bother?

I could go into a couple of heartwarming stories (note to self: this blog needs more heartwarming stories) of couples with decades of loyalty to each other but no legal protection from the state. Or I could take the pragmatic approach, using Massachusetts as a model of how civil unions soften the way for marriage equality. Or I could take a far left tack in the LGBTQ contingent and demand civil unions for all and an abolition of marriage entirely.

All of those are perfectly fine arguments, but when it comes down to it, here’s what I care about: Illinois is getting left out in the cold. When you look at maps of marriage equality over the last 10 years, you see states slowly being shaded in for domestic partnerships, for civil unions, for equal marriage.

Orange (5 +DC): marriage equality Gold (5): equivalent spousal rights Yellow (4): some spousal rights Stripes (2): recognizes other states' marriages

There is an equal marriage bill in the Illinois legislature; it’s dead in the water. If anything is going to be passed this year, it’s SB 1716. If it doesn’t pass this year, we’re likely to have a new governor next year hostile to LGBTQ rights (and a lot of other rights, too). Which means further delays in the LGBTQ movement in Illinois, which means waiting years to start this process all over again (and next time for marriage equality!). We need civil unions this year in Illinois. Not just for the legal recognition of thousands of LGBTQ couples in Illinois, but for the LGBTQ movement as a whole. We need to change the map.

I don’t know if you’ve ever talked to an Illinois state senator or representative, but mostly it’s like wading through molasses. Still, with that cheery recommendation, how bout calling your rep and seeing how they feel about SB1716? It’s a big election year, feel free to take advantage of that.

For a quick, enjoyable, only slightly-out-f-date run-down on marriage equality across the US, I highly recommend

this piece by NPR. Includes a more comprehensive map!

Workplace discrimination

This is a swerve away from marriage equality and romance in general, but it’s still kinda sexy. I have like 2 minutes, so I’ll make it fast:

Join the Impact Chicago, a group near and dear to me, was involved in a protest on Thursday, as part of the Harvey Milk Week of Action. We organized some street theater in Federal Plaza, while 13  Harvey Milk Week of Action coalition activists presented a petition to Sen. Dick Durbin’s office. We’re calling on Senator Durbin to advocate for the passage of ENDA (the Employment Nondiscrimination Act) this year. The sit-in didn’t last very long, as the Senator’s staff called ICE pretty quickly.

You can sign the petition here! http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/PASS-ENDA-NOW

The action was picked up by the following media:

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/21/gay-activists-arrested-ou_n_584704.html

Towelroad: http://www.towleroad.com/2010/05/watch-activists-sitin-at-senator-dick-durbins-chicago-office-demand-he-sign-enda-pledge.html

Advocate: http://www.advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/05/20/ENDA_Protesters_Arrested_in_Senate_Office/

Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/x-48969-Chicago-LGBT-Events-Examiner~y2010m5d21-Second-class-citizens-rally-in-support-of-ENDA

Joe My God: http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/05/chicago-thirteen-arrested-at-enda-sit.html

Americablog Gay: http://gay.americablog.com/2010/05/enda-protesters-arrested-in-durbins.html

ChicagoPride.com: http://www.chicagopride.com/news/article.cfm/articleid/1077636

Windy City Times: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=26651

Chicago Now – About a boy: http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/whats-a-boy-to-do/2010/05/13-lgbt-activists-arrested-after-sit-in-at-senator-durbins-office.html

Back2Stonewall: http://www.back2stonewall.com/2010/05/13-chicago-gay-rights-activists.html 

Upcoming

Hello dear blogosphere, I’ve not forgotten you. I was super busy for awhile getting my ducks in row getting ready to head out of town. One of those busy

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

days was spent in Springfield, IL for Lobby Day with Equality Illinois. It was an excellent chance to catch up on the action surrounding the civil unions bill in Illinois and great to meet lots of new kids. More on that coming very soon.

After that, of course, I was actually out of town for a few days. 

While I was out of town, Lindsey’s and my official invite to my older sister’s wedding came in the mail. It’s an excellently well-designed invitation, so we said Yes. Also the fact that I’m a bridesmaid. Also the fact that it’s my sister.

Saturday morning on the beach.

Anyways, the actual point of this post is to let you know that I am working on things here. Checking on the RSS feed and maybe fixing up the look of the site, posts about civil unions in Illinois, activism in Chicago, reserving a wedding location in Iowa, lots to do. Oh yes, and weekly recommendations are still in the works. I’ll be back soon.