Archive for January, 2011

Quinn Signs Civil Unions Bill

January 31, 2011

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the civil unions bill into law today in a special ceremony. Hooray! Coverage here and here.

Governor’s Signing Event Announced

January 24, 2011

Gov Quinn has announced the details of his plan to sign the civil unions bill. The press release follows:

CHICAGO – Next Monday (Jan. 31), Governor Pat Quinn will sign the IllinoisReligious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act (SB1716) with guests and members of the public. With this law, Illinois joins the handful of U.S. states that have expanded recognition and rights to all families. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the signing of this historic legislation.

 

WHEN: January 31, 2011 at 4 p.m.

 

WHERE: Chicago Cultural Center

78 East Washington Street

Chicago, 60601

 

ADDITIONAL: Members of the public are invited to witness this historic occasion.

As space is limited, RSVPs to gov.civilunionsrsvp@illinois.gov are encouraged.

Guests without an RSVP will be seated as space is available.

Event is open press.

 

Quinn to Sign Civil Unions on Jan. 31

January 22, 2011

Word on the street is the Gov. Pat Quinn will sign the civil unions law on Jan. 31 in the Chicago Loop in a public ceremony. An official announcement with more details should come soon.

Mayoral Candidates on LGBT Issues

January 21, 2011

Equality Illinois has just published the results of questionnaires from all of the leading candidates in the Chicago mayoral race regarding their stances on LGBT issues. Check it out.

Evangelicals, Catholics Softening Stances

January 15, 2011

Jay Bakker, son of televangelists Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye Messner, has become a gay-rights advocate among evangelical Christians.

According to two recent news reports, Catholics and evangelical Christians may be softening their views on lgbt rights and same-sex marriage. Follow the links for the full stories.

Tell Obama to Support Marriage Equality

January 15, 2011

Sign this HRC petition to urge President Obama to state his support for marriage equality. It just takes a minute!

IRCFM Is Disbanding

January 6, 2011

The Illinois Religious Coalition is disbanding. The coalition was started by a group of volunteers at the Second Unitarian Church of Chicago in the early 2000s. Under the leadership of Rev. Rudra Dundzila and then me, Gregory Potts. One of our proudest accomplishment was to work in partnership with Equality Illinois to gather signatures for a petition from faith leaders that I believe was instrumental in the passage of civil union legislation here last month.

There are two major reasons for disbanding. First, the coalition’s primary goal for most of its existence has been the passage of a civil unions bill in our state. That has been achieved! Of course true marriage equality is the ultimate goal, but I do believe it will be at least a year before we see any serious push toward marriage equality legislation in Illinois. So now seems like a good time to re-group and consider new strategies for moving ahead.
Second, things have changed in the past eight years. Many more religious leaders are speaking out today than they were at that time. In addition, LGBT rights organizations are working much more intentionally to organize and support people of faith.
Most notably, Equality Illinois, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, recently started a Religious Outreach Committee. Both Katherine Wolf, a fellow IRCFTM volunteer, and I are serving on that committee. In addition, a new grassroots organization called LGBT Change recently launched an initiative they call The Faith Project. Both of these efforts show great promise and I encourage readers of this blog to support both of these organizations with money and efforts as we move from our civil unions victory into the next phase of our work toward LGBT liberation.
I may still post occasional updates on this blog for a while, but this will be the only vestige of the Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry.

Iowa Marriage Fight Continues

January 4, 2011

Bob Vander Plaats, governor of Iowa, is “obsessed” with taking away marriage equality, according to one observer. Voters in the state already voted three of the state’s Supreme Court justices out of office. Are the remaining four equality supporters threatened? Maybe.

A Look Back, A Look Ahead

January 2, 2011

One blog recounts 10 highlights of the past year in the struggle for marriage equality. Yes, the passage of the civil unions bill in Illinois made the list.

Another observer forecasts a rough year ahead. What do you think? Do we have momentum or do we face a nasty backlash?

Episcopal Clergy Marry in Massachusetts

January 2, 2011

The Episcopalian bishop of Massachusetts began 2011 by solemnizing the first lesbian marriage of two senior Episcopalian clergy at Boston’s St Paul’s Cathedral Saturday.

Read the full story here.