Tag Archives: chicago

Civil Unions Now! Wait, what?

So awhile back on this blog I went to Springfield to lobby for Civil Unions. You’ll notice in the post that my argument for CU was largely “it changes the map”. And look! Look at the map! Now Illinois also gets to be shaded in (lightly).

Same-Sex Marriage Laws U.S.

Yep, the Illinois law takes effect June 1, which totally coincidentally and not on purpose means that our marriage gets recognized as a civil union in Illinois. We don’t have to file any extra paperwork or register or anything. Just as Illinois automatically understands that straight marriages performed elsewhere are marriages, now they’ll grant that gay marriages performed elsewhere (and civil unions performed in other civil-uniony states) are civil unions.

There’s mixed reaction to this news. On the whole, it’s a positive step. Politically, it changes the map. Practically, it offers a lot more security for couples and families. Personally, it helps me get better health insurance!

On the other hand, it is a newly invented classification to keep same-sex couples out of traditional marriage. It offers an equivalent system of legal rights and benefits under a big sign that says “You’re Still Too Different From Us”. So, if Lindsey and I weren’t getting married in Iowa, we probs wouldn’t be getting civil unioned in Illinois*. We don’t have shared property or frail health or children or much else to make the incentives of civil unions worth the annoyance of them existing. Not too mention civil unions are sooo five years ago. Marriage equality is in this spring.

*Btw, you can read about our and other couples’ feelings on this matter in the June 9 issue of TimeOut Chicago. They’re doing a story on just this topic.

As always, you can help change this! If you’re in Chicago, you should come to the Rally to Repeal DOMA on Saturday June 11. It’s in Boystown, so you can support some community engagement before going out for different community engagement. Also, slim chance I might be speaking at the rally. So it might also be an excellent chance to see me be really, really nervous.
And if you’re not in Chicago, people do this everywhere. Find them and get involved.

Another Day of Decision

In November, 2008, residents of California voted to pass Proposition 8, effectively halting same-sex marriages in the state.

The measure’s passage catalyzed a nation-wide movement of protests. From Wyoming to New Hampshire, Florida to Minnesota, in groups from 12 to 1,200, the LGBTQA community stood up and declared love valid. Meanwhile, the 10,000 or more same-sex couples married in California waited for the California Courts to determine the status of their relationship.

In May, 2009, the state Supreme Court ruling came down and the community again stood up. The Supreme Court validated the passage of Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in California. The thousands of already married couples remain married, an odd reminder of California’s one-time tolerance. Rallies again spread out over the country. Here is a video from Chicago’s rally on that “Day of Decision” last March:

That Chicago rally was organized by Join the Impact Chicago. (Join the Impact was the original netroots-to-grassroots organizers of the Prop 8 protests.) The Prop 8 case has moved through various legal wranglings since then, and was debated in federal court as Perry v. Schwarzenegger. This excellent FAQ can help with the case particulars in a quick read.

JTIC is organizing once more.

Today, Judger Walker, a U.S. District Court judge in California, will issue his ruling in the Proposition 8 lawsuit. This is a federal opinion. Today. At 6pm, Wednesday, August 3, 2010 in Daley Plaza, Chicagoans of all stripes, of all backgrounds, from every part of our rainbow alphabet, will rally in opposition to Prop 8 and in support of legal recognition for queer partnerships.

Chicago, IL (FB event): At Daley Plaza
Champaign, IL: At Alma Mater Statue
Madison, WI: At Johnson and State
Cleveland, OH: At Bounce/Union Station
Ohio City, OH: At Union Station
Tulsa, OK: At 621 E 4th St
Rex Wockner has more, of course. (big ol’ h/t to A. Crain for the links on these sister rallies!)

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