Archive for the ‘Federal Rights and Recognition’ Category

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Hurts Couples

May 8, 2010

This blog focuses on the goal of legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois and beyond. But of course we also support equal rights for lgbt folks in all areas of life, including the right to serve in the military.

And in fact, the two issues are more closely connected than they might seem at first. Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, recently pointed out that the military ban doesn’t just affect lgbt soldiers; it also affects their partners, who are denied the housing and medical benefits normally afforded to the husbands and wives of those serving in the military.

Moreover, Sara Benson, a University of Illinois legal scholar, recently argued that a repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy could “jump start” the lgbt rights movement in general. Benson arrives at her conclusion by drawing from recent history, arguing that the racial integration of U.S. military service in 1948 paved the way for the Civil Rights movement.

In addition, just last week, a coalition of religious groups signed a letter addressed to all members of Congress calling for an end to the ban.

For all these reasons, please participate in the Human Rights Campaign’s DADT “Virtual Lobby Day” by calling your Congressional representatives on May 11. And be sure to let them know if you are a veteran.

Dump DOMA!

May 6, 2010

Image from Foxnews.com

Freedom to Marry has set up an easy online form to let you write to President Obama to let him know that you want to hold him accountable to his campaign pledge to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. Passed in 1996, DOMA wrote discrimination against same-sex couples into law.

Take action to undo it now! And don’t forget to include in your letter a statement about your religious basis for opposing DOMA.

Not Too Late for Census

April 24, 2010

It is not too late to be counted! If you haven’t completed your census form yet, do it today. And if you are in a same-sex relationship, let the U.S. Census know. A key to the advancement of the rights of same-sex couples is for people first to know of our existence. For the first time in census history, the form allows for same-sex couples to count themselves as “married.” If you have been married, you should count yourself as married even if you live in a state that doesn’t recognize your relationship. If you have not been married, you can also select “unmarried partners.” For more information, check out the official U.S. Census web site.  Equality Illinois offers guidance on completing your form here. In addition, there is a site full of information about the census just for lgbt families called “Our Families Count.” Enjoy the following video from their web site:

Obama Orders Hospital Rights for Couples

April 16, 2010

Pres. Barack Obama

President Obama has issued a presidential order that will make it easier for same-sex couples to visit one another in hospitals and to make medical decisions on one another’s behalf. Read the details here.