Category Archives: Gay Marriage

Illinois WILL VOTE By Thursday on SB10 Marriage Equality Bill!

  BREAKING NEWS!  The CHICAGO TRIBUNE  just said, “Illinois lawmakers return to the Capitol on Tuesday for the final
scheduled week of the fall session with a measure to legalize same-sex
marriage at the forefront and a vote to deal with the state’s massive
public pension debt unlikely to happen.

Instead, the yearslong debate over changing retirement benefits to
address a $100 billion shortfall may mean lawmakers head back to town in
a few weeks after number crunchers finish their work and if a proposal
can be agreed upon.

That delay shifts the
attention this week to the issue of gay marriage and the fate of a bill
the Senate passed in February that’s been stalled in the House ever
since……read more

From  GAY LIBERATION NETWORK…..With a vote by
Illinois’s House on the state’s equal marriage rights bill expected by this Thursday,
Nov. 7th,

regardless of the result, there will be a community response rally at
7 PM, Thursday at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets in the heart of
Chicago’s LGBT entertainment district.

 
“If
we win, we will celebrate our long-fought victory,” said Gay Liberation
Network spokesman Bob Schwartz, one of the organizers of the event.  “We will also spread the message that
the fight for LGBTQ rights does not end with marriage equality in
Illinois.  If we lose, we will not take
defeat passively.  We will take note of those who stood in the way of our
achieving victory this week and promise payback for their failure to promote
equality.”
 
“Just
two weeks ago this bill was widely seen as dead in the water for this fall veto
session,” said GLN co-founder Andy Thayer. 
“What changed?  It was the people that forced this bill onto
the agenda for this Fall Veto session, not the politicians and insiders.  It was the explicit threat of political
retribution to those in Springfield who stood in our way or only half-heartedly
supported equal rights.  And make
no mistake, simply calling a vote will not be enough to calm our wrath.
 If the House Democratic caucus does not use
it’s super-majority to pass this bill, we will put the failure
right at their and House Speaker Mike Madigan’s doorstep.”

Gay Couple Sues Cab Company Over Kiss

Lambda Legal is working with a  gay couple who filed a human rights complaint on Monday against a
Chicago-area taxi company because a driver told them to leave his cab
after they kissed in the back seat.

The couple, Matthew McCrea, 30, of Chicago, and Steven White, 29, of
West Hollywood, California, say they had exchanged a brief kiss in the
back of a Sun Taxi cab when the driver pulled over on a busy expressway
on a rainy night and told them to get out.

Though the driver has been fined by the city over the May incident
and fired by his company, McCrea and White say they took their complaint
to the Illinois Department of Human Rights to help others who might
find themselves in a similar situation. The complaint asks for
unspecified compensation.

“We’re doing this because what happened to us isn’t right, and we want to make sure other people, if they find themselves in this situation, they know it’s not OK,” said McCrea in a phone interview.  More  at  Tribune.

LiveStream of Marriage Equality Rally/Concert in Springfield

HD Live Stream Video Available Of March On Springfield for Marriage Equality
Organizers
of the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will provide a live
stream of the concert and rally in Springfield, Illinois, on Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
Livestream
will be available in high definition. The service is provided by the
same vendor that streams live coverage from the Illinois House and
Senate chambers. Programming will go live at 11:45 am on Tuesday, October 22, 2013. The event is outdoor at the corner of 2nd Street and Capitol, next to the State Capitol Building, in Springfield, Illinois.
We ask that you withhold publishing this information or link until 9 am, Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
Programming*
  • 11:55 am —————– National Anthem
  • 12:00 to 1 pm ———– Rock the March Concert
  • 1 pm ———————- Welcome by Governor Patrick Quinn and Senator Dick Durbin
  • 1 pm to 2:30 pm ——– Rally with speakers from LGBT, labor, immigration, women’s health, business, sports and faith communities.
  • 2:30 pm —————— March begins, led by drummers and marching band.
  • 2:30 to 3:30 pm ——– March around the Capitol
*All times are estimates.
About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws, and all married people in Illinois will be treated
equally under federal law. For more information, visit http://www.MarchOnSpringfield.org, or find the March at http://www.facebook.com/MarchOnSpringfieldForMarriageEquality or on Twitter @IllinoisMarches. Hashtags being used for the event include #IL4M and #ILCantWait.

Alderman James Cappleman to Get Legally Married in Washington State

Now that DOMA has been struck down and the Federal Government is recognizing LGBT marriage  – why wait for Illinois to decide WTF they are going to do with marriage equality??

Uptown Alderman James Cappelman and his partner Richard have been together for
more than two decades! (Congratulations guys!)   But after waiting anxiously for Illinois to
legalize marriage equality, and in light of the disappointing
stop-and-start progress of an equal marriage bill over the last year,
the couple is heading to Washington state to tie the knot.

Chicago Tribune has the story:

“We are going to go elsewhere,” said Ald. James Cappleman, 46th.
“It’s kind of sad that a Chicago alderman, an elected official, has to
leave his own state. But we’ll keep fighting. There’s a lot of people
who want to get married.”

Cappleman and Richard Thale, who met in church, have been together
for 22 years. The plan to get married Nov. 22, surrounded by relatives
who live out West. The couple already have a civil union in Illinois.

Cappleman said he first spilled the beans Tuesday night on CLTV’s
“Politics Tonight” show when asked what it was like to be an alderman
and gay. He later posted his plans on Facebook.

WHAT IS WRONG WILL ILLINOIS?  Do they realize how much money they are losing by waiting?   I had 2 Chicago friends last week, fly to NYC for their marriage. One is very sickly and they didn’t want to take the risk of losing those federal protections that other married couples already have.

BEST GAY WEDDING in Chicago October 19th, 2013

This is going to be THE BEST GAY WEDDING in Chicago!



We met in July 4 1999 – and had a commitment
ceremony, exactly one year later, at the spot we met at. 

In 2004 when
Domestic Partnerships became available in Ilinois, we signed up!

 In June 2011, we
joined 50 other couples on the steps of the Chicago History Museum, in a
mass Civil Union ceremony. One step closer
to marriage – but not quite there yet. 

We hope Illinois does the right
thing and passes the Marriage bill for our state. We would love to be
legally married on our 15th anniversary, July 4, 2014!

In the meantime, we’re renewing our vows with a ceremony and an amazing reception!!

Minibar and MANY of our favorite local businesses have teamed together to do a $20,000  wedding package for 2 couples – and we are one of the couples! So we will be renewing our vows – for charity. This is the deal. NO GIFTS. We just ask that everyone make a $30 donation to Equality Illinois. HERE.

Get your tickets online now – or the day of, you can buy online – and there should be tickets at the door. But if you can buy online – that helps with headcount for food and such. 


HERE”S THE SCOOP! You donate $30 that goes 100% directly to the MARCH ON SPRINGFIELD charity; whose goal is to push the vote for complete equality in marriage for everyone in Illinois. We ask that you take this event seriously and with great pride, as we can all do a little to accomplish big things!  – So come enjoy a 3 hour wedding celebration for charity!  With champagne, dinner, cake and entertainment! 3 hours of fun, $30 for a great cause!  SATURDAY  OCTOBER  19th  7-10pm. 3341 N. Halsted


 It’s going to be an
awesome event as minibar is transformed into a beautiful wedding space!
Matthew Harvat of E Malone will decorate the space with gorgeous flowers and designer Ramsey Prince is the event planner and says the space will WOW  everyone! Minibar has donated the space, the dinners and the champagne!  Sugar Hills Bakery are creating 2 amazing cakes!  And more and more!


March on Springfield for Marriage Equality October 22nd, 2013

Marriage is an important institution.  It is through marriage that
adults throughout our country and throughout the world express their
commitment and devotion to each other.  In turn, governments use the
institution of marriage to recognize and protect family units. 

However, the definition of marriage has not been static throughout
history.  The definition of marriage has changed considerably from
biblical historical days, when the marital unit might have included more
than 2 adults and when every participant’s consent may not have been
readily apparent.  In past traditions, marriage was sometimes used to
consolidate wealth, produce children, and create kinship between
powerful families.  The legal and social benefits of marriage continued
to evolve to accommodate changing needs of societies.

Marriage continues to serve as an important civil institution in
America today.  Its protections continue on many levels:  financial,
legal, social, and emotional.  Even while the institution of marriage
evolves, it is still the avenue through which our society provides
benefits, rights, protections, and responsibilities to partners.

Marriage bestows a host of benefits -and responsibilities – to
couples who choose to marry.  The following is a short, illustrative
list of some of the more than 1,000 benefits and responsibilities that
married couples enjoy automatically, yet are denied to same-sex couples
that cannot wed.

  • Automatic inheritance, even without a will
  • Responsibility for each partner’s debt
  • Ability to put partner and partner’s children on medical or life insurance
  • Hospital visitation rights
  • Ability to make partner a U.S. citizen and prevent deportation
  • Right to take leave to care for a sick partner
  • Ability to make medical decisions in an emergency
  • Privilege from testifying against partner in court
  • Ability to file joint tax returns and use tax benefits for married couples
  • Exemption from gift and estate transfer taxes
  • Right to joint parenting, adoption, foster care, and visitation of children
  • Right to recognition in all states
  • Right to file wrongful death claims for a partner’s death
  • Right to a divorce, court division of property, and visitation of children in times of breakup

GRAB A BUS RIDE THERE AND JOIN US!

ILLINOIS needs to be the next state to DO THE RIGHT THING!

A Positive Step Forward for Illinois Marriage Equality

 A bit of good news!!   An Illinois judge has rejected motions to dismiss two court cases
challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex
marriage, Reuters reports:    Cook County Circuit Court Judge Sophia Hall ruled that lawsuits brought
by same-sex couples have a chance of succeeding with the argument that
the state’s ban on gay marriage discriminates against them.

The
ruling is a boost for Illinois supporters of gay marriage trying to
legalize gay nuptials through the courts because efforts through the
state legislature fell short.

The ACLU and Lambda Legal praised the decsion in a press release:

“This ruling is a big step forward in
putting an end to government-sanctioned discrimination against same-sex
couples and their families in Illinois, but we must continue to push
forward until loving lesbian and gay couples have the freedom to marry
here in Illinois,” said John Knight, director of the LGBT Project at the
ACLU of Illinois. “Same-sex couples and their children have been
waiting far too long in Illinois for the freedom to marry, watching as
state after state has recognized that lesbians and gay men should have
the freedom to marry while Illinois continues to deny them the respect
associated with marriage, as well as the full access to the federal
protections and responsibilities.”

Rock the March: One Hour Concert Will Launch the October 22 March on Springfield for Marriage Equality

Nationally prominent performers with Illinois roots will kick off the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality on Tuesday, Oct. 22
with a free one-hour concert live near the steps of the Illinois State
Capitol. The diverse entertainment bill includes reality TV stars from
“The Voice,” “American Idol,” and “America’s Got Talent;” a national
poetry slam winner; a world champion & MVP quarterback who is also a
pre-Grammy nominee; and a 2013 Trans 100 honoree fighting violence
against transgender people.

“Love transcends gender, sexual orientation
and faith,” said Tracy Baim, March Co-chair, “and Shakespeare wrote ‘If
music be the food of love, play on!’ We are marching to Springfield to
tell the people’s representatives that ‘love is love,’ and that our
families deserve the same marriage benefits granted to other loving
couples in Illinois. What better way to begin the March than by raising
our voices in song and poetry?”

“Rock the March” will kick off with
performances by members of LGBT Choral groups including: Chicago Gay
Men’s Chorus, Windy City Performing Arts, Artemis Singers and Amasong.
Jammin for Justice EarthBeat Drummers will kick off the March.
Headlining performers will be:

*       Sandra Antongiorgi – World, Latin, neo-soul singer, songwriter & painter

*       C.C. Carter – author, activist, teacher and performance poet
*       De’Borah – singer, song-writer and star of “The Voice”
*       Steve Grand – “All American Boy” singer, song-writer and YouTube sensation
*       Sami Grisafe – all-star MVP quarterback and award-winning singer-songwriter

*       Kokumo – African-American transgender woman, singer, writer & performer
*       Stephen Leonard – Out rock powerhouse singer & song-writer
*
      Marcus Terell & the Serenades – singer, performer and star
of “American                             Idol”, “America’s Got Talent”
& “Making The Band”

The concert will begin at noon on October 22, 2013,
at the March on Springfield stage in front of the Illinois State
Capitol on 2nd Street. The marriage equality rally will immediately
follow the concert, with a march around the State Capitol starting at 2:30 pm

There is no cost to attend and members of the public are welcome. For more information, visit www.marchonspringfield.org  BUSES   STILL AVAILABLE!!!

We Are Family March for Equality October 22nd! in Springfield!

Bus Tickets
for the

March on Springfield

for Marriage Equality

are now available!

The October 22nd
March on Springfield, at the start of the veto session of the
legislature, is the pivotal event this fall whereby we can finally get
Illinois to recognize the equal rights of LGBT people by recognizing
same-sex marriages.

MORE  DETAILS   HERE!

Mariano’s Fresh Market will be Extending Insurance Benefits to LGBT Spouses

Marianos
(Grocery Store) is only in Chicago and is expanding rapidly with plans
to open 8 more Chicago area stores in the next year.

 
Last year there was some confusion because their headquarters are in Wisconson. Marionos is under the Roundy’s umbrella of stores. And the insurance comes from Wisconsin. But with Civil Unions now and Marriage on the horizon for Illinois, Roundy’s stepped up to make the nbecessary changes, so ALL employees could access EQUAL benefits!


They have advertised to the LGBT community because they an upscale food market the appeals to the LGBT community. They have Sexual Orientation as a protected class in their handbook.  And now they offer equal benefits! 




The LGBT community should support them since they clearly support us. 

Groupon employees to participate in October 22 Marriage Equality March on Springfield

Groupon has long been a strong supporter of marriage equality in
Illinois. Today they released a video, produced by Groupon employees, to
showcase that support.
We’re also excited to announce that Groupon will be
participating in the March on Springfield, busing interested employees
to the rally that day in support of marriage equality on October 22.
About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws. For more information, visit http://www.marchonspringfield.org.


Options for LGBT Divorce : Center on Halsted August 13th

 “Alternate Endings: Collaborative Options for Building Strong LGBTQ Families” will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Center on Halsted, located at 3656 N. Halsted St., Chicago, Ill. 60613.

Hosted
by Center on Halsted and the Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a
panel of experienced attorneys and collaborative law fellows – family
law professionals Eva Matela Kogut and Alan H. Boudreau, and estate
planning attorney, Lindsey Paige Markus – will discuss what civil
unions, marriage and divorce mean to LGBTQ families.

 

The
discussion will evaluate the Collaborative Divorce Model as a means of
providing options for a peaceful divorce without litigation. The
Collaborate Divorce Model is a team approach for prenuptial agreements,
separations, and divorce that helps a couple plan their family without
going to court and supports families while they make tough financial and
parenting decisions.

 

This
community event is free and open to the public. For more information,
please contact Jane Merrill, Advocacy and Community Engagement
Coordinator, at legal@centeronahlsted.org or 773-472-6469 ext. 412

March for Marriage Equality July 13th

March on Chicago



for Marriage Equality

1 PM, Saturday, July 13
Corner of Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway

Nothing
is inevitable in the fight for civil rights. While some on our side
were assuring us marriage equality would pass by the end of May, the
other side was mobilizing and rallying to scare representatives out of
doing the right thing.

We need to show everyone that love is louder than hate. We need to show
that the voices for equality outnumber the voices for fear and
small-mindedness. We need to hit the streets!

We can still get it done this year if we all join in. This is not over!
Let’s show our representatives that we’re not giving up on marriage
equality without a fight!

Illinois Equal Marriage Advocates Plan March on Springfield Oct 22

A day after more
than one million gathered to celebrate Pride in Chicago at a parade
dominated by calls for equal marriage, marriage advocates in Illinois
have announced further details for the March on Springfield for Marriage
Equality on Oct. 22.

The march will be organized by a group of co-chairs drawn from a
diverse cross-section of Illinois’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and queer communities. Among the 13 statewide co-chairs announced today
are 6 women and 7 men with diverse ethnic, racial, religious, and
professional backgrounds. The March on Springfield, set for the first
scheduled day of the legislature’s fall veto session, will operate
separately and alongside efforts by Illinois Unites, the broad coalition
of more than 50 organizations working to pass equal marriage in
Illinois, as well as with grassroots activist groups.

“Marriage equality is supported by a majority of Illinoisans and has
new urgency given actions by the U.S. Supreme Court last week,” the new
group of co-chairs said in a joint statement. “When the Supreme Court
struck down DOMA, married couples in 13 states and the District of
Columbia gained benefits that are denied to people in Illinois. On Oct. 22,
we call on Illinoisans from every walk of life and from every district
to come to Springfield and demand full equality for everyone in our
State.”

The group also announced early details on how corporations, small
businesses, and volunteers can get involved in the effort to get people
to Springfield. These include crowd sourced funding through an IndieGogo
campaign to be launched next week, specially priced bus rentals, and a
business partnership campaign to facilitate broad-based participation by
companies and their employees in the March. To learn how your
organization or company can get involved, visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MarchOnSpringfieldForMarriageEquality, email tracy@windycitymediagroup.com or call (773) 387-2394.

March on Springfield co-chairs include:

  • Solomon Arnold: College student, media personality, and HIV/AIDS educator in the African American house ball community.
  • Tracy Baim:
    Journalist, filmmaker, author, Co-vice chair of the Chicago Gay Games
    and publisher is publisher of Windy City Times newspaper.
  • Kevin Boyer:
    Marketing professional, community organizer, former Co-vice chair of
    the Chicago Gay Games, and co-chair of GLAAD Chicago’s Leadership
    Council.
  • Buff Carmichael: Longtime media professional, former publisher of the Prairie Flame, and activist in Springfield.
  • Brandy Donaldson: Rock Island-based media professional and activist within the African American lesbian community.
  • Emmanuel Garcia:
    Latino youth activist working with Association of Latin Men for Action,
    Crossroads Fund, Chicago’s largest queer youth prom and Cicero’s LGBT
    community.
  • Brent Holman-Gomez: Activist working within the welcoming church movement, immigration equality, and international LGBTQI organizations.
  • Kim Hunt: Executive Director of Affinity, an African American LBT women’s group, who was also an organizer of the Chicago Gay Games.
  • Naomi Lahiri:
    Queer feminist with expertise in Asian issues, outreach for trans*
    people of Asian descent, immigrant issues, and domestic violence
    outreach.
  • Alexis Martinez:
    Transgender activist working on cross-generation work, the Dyke March
    plus Latino, living wage, education and healthcare issues.
  • Chris Mullins: Activist and LGBT rights advocate and Chair of Lambda Legal’s Chicago Leadership Council
  • Edith Nieves: Long-time activist on union, lesbian, sports and Latina issues; runs Sisters 4LGBTQ Community, a lesbian social network.
  • Max Smith:
    Activist for four decades especially focused on African American men
    and religious issues, and as a member of Adodi, an African-American
    men’s organization.

About the March
The March on Springfield for Marriage Equality will take place on Oct. 22, 2013,
the scheduled first day of the fall veto session of the Illinois state
legislature. The “March on Springfield” is part of a broad grassroots
strategy to secure final passage of Senate Bill 10, the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” already approved by the Illinois
Senate. Once adopted, Illinois will become the 14th state plus the
District of Columbia, to treat all of its citizens equally under state
marriage laws. More details are available on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MarchOnSpringfieldForMarriageEquality and on Twitter at @IllinoisMarches.

NOH8 portrait of Congresswoman Robin Kelly, IL02

NOH8 is every where! 

As the nation prepares for the imminent U.S.
Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage
Act and California’s Proposition 8, the NOH8 Campaign on Monday
released portrait photos of 67 new members of Congress
standing in support of marriage equality. 
This year’s NOH8 On The Hill
Campaign featured a record-setting number of Congressional participants,
including
Congresswoman Robin Kelly, of Illinois’ 2nd District.  The class of 2013 brings the total of Congressional participants in the NOH8 portrait campaign over three years to 100 members.

Congresswoman Kelly said: “Love can
never be silenced. We’re created equally and therefore have the right
to love equally and I am proud to stand up for that right.”

The iconic NOH8 portraits, created by NOH8 Campaign
co-founders Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley, feature individuals posing
with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize the voices of equality
being silenced by laws like the discriminatory
Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. In addition,
the NOH8 face tattoo worn by participants symbolizes solidarity with
others who are also standing up for equality. 

Gay Marriage Battle is About to Heat up in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.— Despite urging from President Barack Obama in his
home state and fierce on-the-ground campaigning, a legislative measure
that would have made Illinois the 13th state to allow same-sex couples
to marry didn’t rally enough support from lawmakers in the House.

The
bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Greg Harris, gave an emotional
testimony before lawmakers, explaining that he simply didn’t have the 60
votes the measure needed to pass and wouldn’t be calling it for a vote.
For weeks, he’d been furiously lobbying his colleagues, including
members of the House Black Caucus.

(I know that artwork depicts California – but I thought it was fitting)

“Several of my colleagues have indicated they would not be willing to
cast a vote on this legislation today … and I’ve never been sadder to
accept such request,” he said. “They asked me for time to go back to
their districts and reach out to their minds and hearts.”

After a string of marriage equality victories across the
country, the legislature in Illinois has failed to deliver. With earlier
passage of the bill in the Senate, active support from the Governor, and
enthusiasm and energy from supporters in the House — same-sex couples in
Illinois were ready to celebrate their love and equality. 

But today, the House let us down.

On May 30, 2012, Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois each
filed lawsuits
on behalf of same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry.
Lambda Legal represents 16 same-sex couples and their children from across the
state. The couples have been together between 6 and 48 years, and 10 of the
couples are raising children. Barring same-sex couples and their children from
marriage is a violation of the Illinois Constitution’s guarantee of equal
protection and due process.

Denouncing what they
are calling the “Epic Fail / Epic Betrayal” of Illinois Democrats
failure to pass SB 10, the state’s equal marriage rights bill last night, gay
activists and their allies are calling an emergency response protest for 8 PM,
Saturday, June 1 beginning at the corner of Halsted and Roscoe Streets in
Chicago.


With a recent
Crain’s
poll
showing Illinoisans favoring the equal marriage rights bill by a
nearly two-to-one margin, and Democrats holding a huge majority in the Illinois
General Assembly, the usual excuses of pro-LGBT legislation being held up by
Republican conservatives didn’t hold water.
 
What should
have been a cakewalk instead became an epic fail.  Activists are denouncing what they say was a
consistent failure by the bill’s sponsors to reach out to other minority
communities and involve the LGBT community itself in messaging, and instead ran
a top-down corporate campaign such as has been responsible for previous epic
failures, such as California’s Proposition 8.
 
“House
Speaker Mike Madigan, the de facto
leader of the Illinois Democratic Party, is responsible for this abject
betrayal,” said Andy Thayer, long-time equal marriage rights activist and
co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network. 
“Anyone who knows anything about Illinois politics knows that
Speaker Mike Madigan owns the House – if he had insisted on a positive vote
from his caucus, it would have passed. 
 
“Speaker
Madigan has repeatedly shoveled millions of tax dollars to his wealthy cronies,
leaving the state’s finances in a total mess, but when it comes to passing
civil rights legislation, he refused to spend any political capital.”
 


Tonight’s
protest is sponsored by the Gay Liberation Network and the Civil Rights
Agenda.  For more information, contact
the Gay Liberation Network at 773.209.1187 or email
LGBTliberation@aol.com 


Illinois GOP Chair Pat Brady FORCED TO RESIGN Over Gay Marriage Debate

WHAT IS THIS? ALABAMA??


Illinois Republicans have just forced state party chair Pat Brady to resign because of his support for gay marriage.

Brady, rather famously, came out in support of gay marriage in
January of this year, and even made phone calls to lawmakers urging them
to support gay marriage legislation before the Illinois legislature.

And now he’s politically-dead, killed by a Republican party so
permeated with hate and intolerance that even in a moderate-Republican
state like Illinois, the GOP just couldn’t stomach having a gay friendly  man as
party chair.

In 2013, when 11 American states have already legalized gay
marriage, Illinois Republicans are so hateful and bigoted that they
would destroy a man for daring to speak out in favor of civil rights.

If the state of Illinois DOES NOT PASS Marriage Equality, it will be a sad day, for our State. 

Are all Republicans Against Gay Marriage?

Illinois  lawmakers return to Springfield this week from a two-week break. That means Marriage Equality will be back on the table.

NOM IS READY TO FIGHT US! They are THREATENING  Republican officials!

Meanwhile, NOM is rattling its sabre again, reiterating its pledge to spend $250K to defeat GOP legislators who support same-sex marriage:

“Any Republican in Illinois who betrays
the cause of marriage will be casting a career-ending vote and will be
held accountable to their constituents,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s
president. “We will spend whatever it takes—hundreds of thousands of
dollars if necessary—to remove them from office, just as we did three of
the four turncoat Republican state Senators in New York who were
responsible for gay ‘marriage’ passing there. We will not hesitate to
support pro-family Democrats to replace them, as our record in New York
proves.”

Marriage Equality March in Chicago and 50 States

Next week,  the Supreme Court will hold historic hearings on
DOMA and Proposition 8.
These cases – which
challenge the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)
and California’s Proposition 8 – are fundamentally about whether LGBT
Americans can enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities as everyone
else.

March 25,  26 and 27, there will be rallies happening around the US.
CHICAGO’s will take place March  25th  5:30-7:30pm
@  Federal Plaza   50 W. Adams St., Chicago, Illinois 60604

Your
presence and that of your friends and others will make a difference in
the continuing national struggle for equality for all. Join us as we
rally next to the Federal Court in Chicago’s Federal Plaza, corner of
Adams and Dearborn Streets, at 5:30 p.m. on March 25, 2013. 

The Rally
will be followed a candlelight march from Federal Plaza to Pioneer Plaza
(By the Tribune Tower). Please remember to bring a candle. Please
spread the word and add your friends to this invite. Tell the SCOTUS we
demand Marriage EquALLity Now!

The
Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) and Gay Liberation Network (GLN) are
supporting organizations. Check  FACEBOOK  for additional details and
supporters.

Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady is in Hot Water for Vocally Supporting Marriage Equality

THIS TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2013, is the last and final big vote for Marriage Equality in Illinois. It has successfully passed the Senate, and Tuesday the House will vote. 

 The majority of Illinoisans are hoping that their state legislature
will move to legalize same-sex marriage this year — and are more
passionate in that belief than opponents of such legislation.

In a Crain’s/Ipsos poll of 600 Illinois adults, 50 percent of respondents supported the marriage equality bill that the state Senate approved last week.
On the other side of the issue, only 29 percent of respondents opposed
the bill, while 20 percent said they were unsure or had mixed feelings
about the issue.

HOWEVER, Republicans in positions of power ARE NOT ALLOWED to be pro-Marriage Equality!  HOW CRAZY IS THAT??

Just last month, Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady started calling on lawmakers to support marriage equality.
At the time, Brady said: “Giving gay and lesbian couples the freedom to
get married honors the best conservative principles. It strengthens
families and reinforces a key Republican value – that the law should
treat all citizens equally.”

Now the shit has hit the fan!
Many Republicans are calling for his resignation. Even NOM demanded Brady step down from his post.

Brady received a phone call in which he was told GOP leaders plan to meet next month to discuss his possible removal. The phone call Friday afternoon
informed him that party bosses are calling a special meeting at which
they’ll discuss why Brady publicly bucked the party line on same-sex
marriage, as well as other issues such as fundraising, Brady said.

Brady  spoke to Crain’s Chicago Busine about the news:

 When Brady was asked if he’s willing to
change his mind on the issue, he said “Absolutely not. The more and more I talk to people, the more I’m
convinced. (Allowing same-sex marriage) is the right thing to do.”

The GOP meeting is scheduled to take place March 9. Brady said the March 9 special meeting will only reinforce a negative
image of the GOP as a party of “old white guys,” though he said he’ll respect the process.

URGENT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Monday, February 25th, Republicans are being urged to call the Capital Switch Board  217-782-2000  and they are supposed to urge them to vote against the homosexual “marriage” bill!  

We  must call in SUPPORT OF THE BILL!

Republicans are also urged to call 217-525-0011  and voice that Brady needs to resign.

WE MUST CALL and PRAISE  BRADY for his stand on Marriage Equality.

PLEASE CALL MONDAY!!

Will Illinois Gay Couples Get a BIG VALENTINES DAY Present

Will Illinois Gay and Lesbian Couple get a BIG VALENTINES PRESENT?

Senate President John Cullerton
(D-Chicago) wants Feb. 14 to be the day his legislative chamber votes to
legalize gay marriages in Illinois.

“I’d like to pass it out of committee
next week and pass it on Valentine’s Day,” Cullerton told the Chicago
Sun-Times in a meeting Thursday with

the newspaper’s Editorial Board.

Cullerton
said he believes the legislation, Senate Bill 10, has the necessary 30
votes to pass and move to the House, clearing a major hurdle in making
Illinois the 10th state to legalize same-sex marriages.

Breaking News! Illinois Senate PASSES Marriage Equality

We’re getting there!!!With your help, the first legislative step has succeeded. The Senate Executive Committee just voted for the freedom to marry!

This is a historic moment: For the first time ever, an
Illinois legislative body took a vote on extending the freedom to
marry. And thanks to the work that all of you have done, the measure
won! 

 The next step would be a vote in the full Senate before moving to
the House of Representatives.
This is the time that you, your family and friends need to get in touch
with your Senator to make sure that a “yes” vote is recorded.


If you haven’t already, please call or email your legislators today. If you need contact information, click HERE.


Illinois
Senate Democrats delayed a floor vote Thursday on legislation to make
the state the 10th in the nation to legalize gay marriage,
but the sponsor expressed confidence there would be enough votes to pass it soon.

Sen. Heather Steans said two supportive Democrats and a Republican
weren’t present for the General Assembly’s lame-duck session, forcing
her to pull back from pressing the issue that had momentum from the
November elections and public encouragement from President Barack Obama.

But Steans, a Chicago Democrat, said the delay would only
push a vote into next week or, at the latest, soon after the new
Legislature is sworn in Jan. 9.

“This is definitely a question of when, not if,” Steans said. “This is the right thing to be doing.”

Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Prez Obama Push for Illinois Gay Marriage

President Obama
has waded into a same-sex marriage debate in his home state of Illinois
– with the White House saying the president would vote for the measure
if he were still in the legislature. 

 

“While the president does not weigh in on every measure being
considered by state legislatures, he believes in treating everyone
fairly and equally, with dignity and respect,” White House spokesman
Shin Inouye told the Chicago Sun-Times on Saturday.
 
“As he has said, his personal view is that it’s wrong to prevent
couples who are in loving, committed relationships, and want to marry,
from doing so,” Inouye continued. “Were the President still in the
Illinois State Legislature, he would support this measure that would
treat all Illinois couples equally.”
 
Illinois lawmakers may take up the measure, called the “Religious
Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act,” as early as this week, the Sun-Times
reported.

Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila
Simon
are planning a fashion-forward action this week to push for
marriage equality in The Prairie State.

On Wednesday, they’re encouraging voters to call lawmakers and tell
them to support marriage equality. Then, on Thursday, they’re organizing
Bow Tie Lobby Day at the General Assembly to get equality passed before
the end of the current session. Supportive lawmakers have vowed to do just that.

More details, from The Southern Illinoisan:

Simon and Ferguson will be joined by marriage equality advocates to
encourage Illinoisans to contact their legislators on Wednesday and join
a Bow Tie Lobby Day in Springfield on Thursday that urges the General
Assembly to pass marriage equality legislation during the January
legislative session, according to a news release from Simon’s office.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone is treated equally
under the law, and right now we have a group of citizens that we are
treating as second-class,” Simon said. “Bringing marriage equality to
Illinois is the right thing to do.”

“Justin and I are thrilled to be participating in Springfield’s Bow
Tie Lobby Day. Drawing attention to the importance of marriage equality
at this level is exactly why we developed Tie The Knot,” Ferguson said.
“We are also excited to see how the citizens and legislators of Illinois
do with their bow tying skills.”

Tie the Knot, for those of you who don’t know, is Ferguson and fiance
Justin Mikita’s (pictured) organization that designs original bowties
and donates a portion of the proceeds to marriage equality causes.

If Illinois’ lawmakers make good and pass equality, it will be the 10th state to let same-sex couples marry.

Marriage Equality is Coming to Illinois!

WE NEED 30 SECONDS

               OF YOUR TIME!!!
The sponsors of the marriage equality bill in the Illinois General
Assembly are ready to move the legislation to a vote. Equality Illinois
is dedicating their efforts to leaving no stone unturned to achieving that
goal.

With your help, Equality Illinois has been working hard across the state to strengthen public support for marriage equality.
However, as you may have heard from reports today, our opposition is
gearing up as well, attempting to flood the lawmakers with their
negative messages.

We need to keep the momentum going and make sure the legislators hear from you! Can you take a moment and send an email to your legislator TODAY?
Please be sure to include why marriage equality matters to YOU and make
it personal. AND, don’t forget to share this on Facebook, Twitter and
with your friends and family!



We can’t pass this bill without your help.
That is why in
the weeks leading up to lame duck session we will be keeping you
regularly updated and asking you to take regular action. 

The time is now to act and make marriage a reality!

Just fill out your zip code! And you can automatically send out a message to your legislators! It’s so fast. PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!


RAHM Pushes for Marriage Equality in Illinois

 “The time is right” for marriage equality,  says Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.
He has thrown his considerable political weight behind getting a same-sex marriage bill passed in Illinois. 
The mayor had a letter to that effect published in Tuesday’s Chicago Sun-Times, and he followed that up with a conversation with The Advocate, noting in both that the results of last week’s election make this an opportune time to continue the push for equality.

University Club in Molene Refuse to Host Lesbian Wedding

The historical University Club in Molene created a stir this week.  When a Taylor Shumaker, a lesbian got a tour and inquired about renting the hall, the manager   Kristen Stewart  said she could rent to homosexuals.

In a phone interview with WQAD, Stewart says it is all true, and defended her right to refusal.

“I am a biblical Christian and I do not
believe in homosexual marriage, that’s correct. And because marriage is a
covenant that God created for man and woman, as a biblical Christian, I
cannot help them into or celebrate that sin,” said Stewart.
Stewart is the wife of the president of the University Club, and daughter-in-law of its owners.

According to Illinois laws, this is against to law to refuse homosexuals couples!

Kristen Stewarts husband, who is President of the University Club, says his wife mis-spoke, and they WILL rent to homosexuals! – Perhaps his lawyer said he’d better correct the issue….

Illinois Civil Unions – One Year Later

Separate and still not equal. 

It is clear that a lot of heterosexual people do not want gay couples using the word “marriage” – but the reality is, marriage is marriage and comes with 100% full benefits. I do not care what your church believes. The government recognizes are “marriage” as coming with full benefits and rights.

Marriage is a unique legal status conferred by and recognized by
governments all over the world. It brings with it a host of reciprocal
obligations, rights and protections. It is also a cultural
institution. No other word has that power and no other status can
provide that protection.

Married couples have 1,138 federal rights and protections.

ALLEGEDLY, Civil Unions provide legal protection to couples at the state law
level, but omits federal protections, as well as the dignity, clarity,
security and power of the word “marriage”.

Civil unions give
couples the right to make funeral and end-of-life decisions, the right
to share a room in a nursing home, automatic hospital visitation,
adoption and parental rights, pension benefits, inheritance rights, the
right to decide how to dispose of a partner’s remains, and the right not
to testify against each other in court.

But a lot of the biggies are missing;  like Social Security benefits upon death, disability or retirement of spouse, as well as benefits for minor children.
And how about Exemptions from penalties on IRA and pension rollovers?  and Exemptions from estate taxes when a spouse dies ??


Nearly 5,000 couples have filed for Civil Union status in Illinois.

Civil unions grants SOME rights, but even then, many LGBT couples testify they are not treated with the same respect as a heterosexual married couple.

Equality Illinois  did a study and survey that shows the  Illinois  Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act did not provide
civil union couples with the same protections as civil marriage, as
promised one year ago.





Separate and Unequal—A Cicil Union is still Second Class Status.

Check out the informative study online.

Sponsored  by 
EQIL, creating change in Illinois!

BREAKING NEWS! Illinois Attorney General will Join The Fight for Gay Marriage

When a state’s
Attorney General intervenes in a lawsuit challenging the legality of
that state’s laws, the Attorney General usually sides with the defense.
Not so in the cases of the Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr, the two lawsuits filed last week in Illinois, which challenge the state’s civil unions law.

From MetroWeekly:

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) will be joining Lambda
Legal and the ACLU in arguing that Illinois’s civil unions law does not
meet the state’s constitutional guarantees of equal
protection, raising the question of what the Cook County clerk of
courts — the named defendant — will do in its response to the
lawsuits.

The move came just two days after Lambda Legal and the ACLU each filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the civil union law. 

In a pair of June 1 filings in Darby v. Orr and Lazaro v. Orr, which were reviewed by Metro Weekly,
the attorney general’s office has requested to intervene in the cases
… In the requests, Madigan writes, “Petitioner respectfully requests
the right to intervene in this case to present the Court with arguments
that explain why the challenged statutory provisions do not satisfy the
guarantee of equality under the Illinois Constitution.”

On June 25, the Attorney General’s Office will make the request to intervene in Darby, which was brought by Lambda Legal. On June 26, the office will make the intervention request in Lazaro, which was brought by the ACLU.

Read more: Towleroad.com

LGBT Wedding Expo Sunday March 25th

This is a very fun event – we went last year and you got lots of great ideas!  Flowers, cakes, photography, caterers , cocktails and more!

4th Annual Gay & Lesbian Wedding Expo in Chicago!

Couples throughout Illinois are continuing to joyfully plan their civil union ceremonies
– JOIN US as we celebrate together! 
The
4th Annual Same Love, Same Rights LGBT Wedding Expo will be hosted once
again by the beautiful Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza, with a signature
view of the river and is scheduled for Sunday March 25th, 2012.

(easy access right off the Brown Line  M. Mart exit!)

This year’s event promises more excitement than ever, with New
Planning Trends, Fresh Giveaways & Samples, and over 30 select
gay-friendly exhibitors to help create the ceremony of your dreams. 
Event planners, officiants, ceremony & reception venues,musicians
and DJs, photographers, caterers, floral artists and more!  Travel,
health, home and family-planning businesses will also be represented.

First 200 couples will receive a
keepsake fabric Swag Bag!  Exciting Raffle Giveaways this year include
Sightseeing Tours courtesy of Anita Dee Yacht Charters!

This
event is free to attend; $5.00 donation per person is suggested, but we
do ask that you pre-register for free tickets.  25% will go directly to
Equality Illinois!

RESERVE NOW  ONLINE!

Civil Unions Burdened with Complex Illinois State Income Tax Rules

By Linu Thomas


Civil Unions became effective on June 1, 2011 in Illinois through the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.
 

Under this law, partners in a civil union must file a joint Illinois Income Tax returns as married couples beginning in January.  Although, the Illinois Department of Revenue did not make it clear if they were going to accept joint returns when the law went into effect, it has now mandated them.  Because partners in a same-sex civil union cannot file joint federal returns, they will have to take special steps this year to file their Illinois returns.

If you are an opposite-sex civil union and you and your partner are treated as spouses for federal income tax purposes, you have the option to file an Illinois state income tax return as married filing jointly or married filing separately just like any other married couple.  This favorable filing status for federal purposes does not apply for same-sex civil unions.  Because same-sex civil unions are not recognized under federal law, partners to a same-sex civil union are not permitted to file joint federal income tax returns or to claim tax breaks or protections that the federal government affords to married spouses.

For state purposes, Illinois allows same-sex civil unions to file a state income tax return either as married filing jointly or married filing separately, but the Illinois Department of Revenue does not make it easy for these couples to be compliant.  In order to file either married filing jointly or married filing separately you must complete a “mock” federal return with the same filing status you picked for the state return.  For example, if you and your same-sex partner choose to file a joint Illinois return, you must complete a federal “as-if-married-filing-jointly” return, for Illinois purposes only.  Also, if you and your same-sex partner choose to file separate Illinois returns, you must complete federal “as-if-married filing separately” returns, for Illinois purposes only.  It is very important that you do not send the “mock” federal return you prepared to the IRS.  The “mock” returns will be used for Illinois purposes only.  When completing your “mock” federal return please include all schedules and attachments, applying all the federal rules for the married filing status you choose.  In addition, on the Illinois income tax return you must enter “as-if-married” federal information where Illinois requires federal information.  The worst part of this process is that same-sex civil unions will not be allowed to properly file using electronic methods (E-File).  Same-sex civil unions must file a paper return.       

Special Situations

Special situations you may encounter while completing your federal “as-if-married” return for IL state income tax purposes only.

Earned Income Credit – You must compute your federal earned income credit using the income of both partners in order to properly calculate the correct amount for the state.

“As-if-Married-Filing-Separately” – If you choose this filing method for your “mock” federal return remember that you cannot claim an earned income credit or receive a federal deduction for student loan interest and higher education tuition.

Capital Losses – If you have a net capital loss this year or a net capital loss carryover to this year and offset it against your partner’s capital gain on a recomputed joint return, you may not carry your capital loss over to any other year, even if you file separately in that year or file a joint return with a different spouse.

Net-Operating Losses – If you have a federal net operating loss this year or a federal net operating loss carryback or carryover to this year and you use that loss to offset income of your partner on a recomputed joint return, you may not carry that loss to any other year, even if you file separately in that year or file a joint return with a different spouse.

Please refer to the Illinois Department of Revenue website for additional information on same-sex civil union tax filing procedures or call Provident Light Advisors at 866-256-9621 to schedule an appointment to discuss your return.  Provident Light Advisors LLC provides accounting, tax, and consulting services. We are simple, honest, and affordable. Since we are a family owned business we treat our customers as members of our own family. No matter what the time of the day we are here to answer your accounting and tax questions.  Provident Light Advisors is also a proud member of the Chicago Area Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. 

Linu Thomas, Partner

Provident Light Advisors LLC
22 W. Washington Street Suite 1500,   Chicago, IL 60602
(312) 957-5751