Archive for December, 2010

Chicago Muslim Speaks for Understanding

December 27, 2010

Eboo Patel, a leading advocate of interfaith understanding, just wrote a wonderful column in the Chicago Tribune advocating for greater understanding and respect between Muslims and LGBT people.

Patel is the founder of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago organization that brings together young people of all faiths.

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Will Military Equality Lead to Marriage Equality?

December 24, 2010

Dan Choi, a leader in the fight against "Don't Ask Don't Tell," with his boyfriend

Some historians say that the racial integration of U.S. military forces helped pave the way for the broader Civil Rights movement. Could the end of the military’s ban on LGBT soldiers have a similar effect?

It’s worth noting that in the wake of the passage of the the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” repeal both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have signaled greater openness to the idea of marriage equality.

First Obama said that his view on the subject is “constantly evolving.”

And today, Biden called same-sex marriage “inevitable.”

Is the Civil Unions Law Threatened?

December 21, 2010

In an e-mail to supporters today, Equality Illinois Executive Director Bernard Cherkasov reported that the state’s new civil unions law has been threatened by opponents: “… angry opponents of equality, such as the Illinois Family Institute, have already announced that they will target the new law for repeal or dilution.”

Rahm Emanuel Supports Equality

December 16, 2010

Rahm Emanuel

Chicago Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel just gave an interview to the Windy City Times in which he advocates for marriage equality, saying the following:
“I believe that gays and lesbians should be allowed to get married. That’s why I thought the civil unions [ are ] the right thing to do, but it’s only the first step toward an ultimate goal.”
Of course, marriage equality is not a matter that will be decided by Chicago’s mayor. Nonetheless, the strong support for LGBT equality from the leading candidate in the race is welcome. (Although there is a chance he could be disqualified from the race based on residency requirements, he is is polling far ahead of his competitors so far).
More on his positions on LGBT issues here.
More to come on the positions of the other mayoral candidates.

Check Out My New Blog!

December 15, 2010

I have started a new blog called Gay Weddings at http://gayweddings.tumblr.com.

While this blog is about the news, my new blog is just a celebration in pictures. I’m planning to post a new same-sex wedding picture each day. Submissions are very much welcome!

Rev. Jesse Jackson Speaks Out

December 6, 2010

Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke to a crowd gathered outside a San Francisco courthouse today while a hearing took place in an appeal that will help decide the fate of same-sex marriage in California. The speech marked Jackson’s strongest ever statement of support on the issue. In his remarks, he made a clear connection between the Civil Rights movement and the struggle for LGBT equality.

To those that believe in and fought for civil rights, that marched to end discrimination and win equality, you must not become that which you hated. It’s past time to exist in hypocrisy and ignorance, and time to come out of the shadows and darkness to support unequivocally, equality for all people. Those that support civil and human rights cannot, must not, become perpetrators of discrimination against others based upon race, religion, culture, sexual orientation.

You can read his entire remarks at this link.

Elsewhere in the World

December 4, 2010

While this blog has focused lately on the passage of the civil unions bill in Illinois, it has actually been a huge week in for LGBT news elsewhere. A brief week-in-review roundup:

Equality Illinois Holds Faith Forum

December 4, 2010

Equality recently held a forum in Bloomington to help LGBT-supportive clergy and lay people to network. It is one of the first projects of the organization’s recently launched Religious Outreach Committee. Equality Illinois staff report that they are planning to hold similar meetings across the state. Here is the report from Equality Illinois on the meeting:

Equality Illinois, Advocacy Council for Human Rights, and Allied for Equality hosted an Interfaith Equality Roundtable breakfast discussion this past November 16 in Bloomington. The main goal of the discussion was to connect clergy, lay leaders, and LGBT community groups from central Illinois to each other, and also forge a dialogue about how faith can unite us in the struggle for equality.

Equality Illinois continues to build upon our successful Faith & Freedom Initiative. The project engages leaders and communities of faith in understanding LGBT equality issues, what same-sex partnership recognition means, and how it affects people on the ground every single day.

Numerous questions were considered during the roundtable: What are we are we doing (or have done) at our places of worship to make LGBT congregants feel welcome? How do we have discussions with other faith communities about LGBT acceptance and equality? How can religion-based bigotry be countered?

The roundtable was a great start to the ongoing discussion of how to incorporate faith and LGBT equality while working together. Our goal is to continue this in the future and grow it. We had fifteen people at this roundtable. Now let’s grow that to fifty! 

Gov. Quinn to Sign Civil Unions Bill in January

December 4, 2010

Gov. Pat Quinn signs a bill into law

Some of us are ready for Gov. Pat Quinn to sign the civil unions bill into law and make it official, but it’s still a few weeks away. The governor, who recently won re-election in a competitive race, has announced that he will sign the bill in a special ceremony early next year.

Equality Illinois to Host Civil Union Forums

December 4, 2010

Equality Illinois, the state’s leading LGBT advocacy organization, will be hosting two community forums this month to answer everyone’s questions about the civil unions bill that just passed and what it will mean for the LGBT community in Illinois. The events will be Dec. 9 in Belleville and Dec. 16 in Chicago. Detailed time and location information as it becomes available. Call (773) 477-7173 for more information.