Category Archives: Legal

Chicago Gay Adoptions

gay adoption chicago

If you are interested in expanding your family through adoption and have questions about how to get started, we are here for you! Join us at “Growing Your Family: A Guide for Prospective LGBT Adoptive Parents,” an Equality Illinois presentation co-hosted by the Cradle on Tuesday, January 13, from 5:30-7PM. You can sign up for this event here

At this event, we will cover an overview of adoption law and answer your legal and procedural questions about adoption in a safe and friendly environment. In addition, you will receive the new Equality Illinois adoption guide, which includes an extensive list of recommended adoption agencies. 

Space is limited. Register today by clicking HERE.

Wisconsin and Indiana Get Marriage Equality

gay marriage indiana wisconsin

Our nearby states celebrated a win last night, as a judge struck down marriage equality bans in both INDIANA and WISCONSIN!

Only nine days after hearing arguments in the case, a federal appeals court in Chicago declared the bans on same-sex marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin to be unconstitutional on Thursday, adding to the list of marriage cases that could wind up before the Supreme Court in the year ahead.

“The grounds advanced by Indiana and Wisconsin for their discriminatory policies are not only conjectural; they are totally implausible,” said the unanimous opinion by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, as it confirmed lower-court decisions that reversed marriage restrictions in the two states.

In each case so far, the rulings to permit same-sex marriages have been temporarily stayed, pending action by the Supreme Court, and the same appeared likely for Indiana and Wisconsin.

Marriage Legal Guide and Resources for Everyone in Illinois

Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest, largest and most effective
advocacy organization for LGBT Illinoisans, stands ready to assist you,
your family and the state in understanding and implementing the new Illinois Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act.

Here are important resources:

Marriage Guide – How do you convert your civil union into a
marriage? What rights come with marrying a same-sex partner? The
answers to those and all of the frequently asked questions on the
workings of the Iaw can be found in Equality Illinois’ authoritative
legal guide, Marriage Rights in Illinois.

   How do I convert my civil union to a marriage?
Couples already in a civil union will always be able to get married in Illinois by going through the same steps as any couple, proved they meet certain requirements (be the same parties to the civil union, not be in process of dissolving their civil union, etc.).  They will incur the same waiting periods and process requirements as any other eligible marrying couple, except there is no fee for the marriage license. 
   BUT…for the first year of the marriage law, couples in a civil union will also be able to “convert” (or “Upgrade” their civil union, simply by filling out the conversion form with a county clerk.  There will be no fees or additional step associated with this process, and the marriage date would be retroactive to the date of the civil union.  This shortcut will only be available during the first year of the marriage law. 

Can I get married if I am in a civil union? 
You can only convert your civil union into a marriage if you meet the requirements described above.  If you  convert your civil union to a marriage within a year of the law’s effective date, you can avoid paying a fee.

How much will it cost to get married if we are already in a civil union?
If you convert your civil union to a marriage within the one-year grace period, the fee for doing so is waived ($0).

Marriage Help Desk – At 773-477-7173 and, the Equality Illinois Marriage Help Desk stands
ready to answer your questions or direct you to the correct sources to
find the answer. We are open for your phone call 11 am-2 pm
Monday-Friday at 773-477-7173. Or you can email the Equality Illinois Marriage Help Desk 24/7 at
Marriage ForumsEquality Illinois Marriage Forums are
being scheduled throughout Downstate, the suburbs and in Chicago to walk
you through the law and answer your questions. We will announce the
times, dates and locations on Facebook, Twitter, in emails and our website as they get confirmed. Look for the events  IN  THE CITY AND SUBURBS.

Aids Legal Council Chicago Helps Inform Residents About Affordable Health Act, November 2nd

AIDS Legal Council of Chicago to partner with Broadway United Methodist Church and
First United Methodist Church/Chicago Temple
Event to focus on informing Chicago residents about the Affordable Care Act
as a part of “Cover Your Community” day of action

of October 1, 2013, individuals, families, and small businesses in
Illinois can sign up for quality health coverage through Get Covered
Illinois – The Official Health Marketplace by visiting
Through the Marketplace, Illinois residents can get to the right place
to shop and compare all of the health insurance plans offered in the

On November 2,
AIDS Legal Council
will participate in the “Cover Your Community” day
of action, a statewide effort to educate Illinois residents about Get
Covered Illinois and the health insurance options available to them. 
ALCC will partner with Broadway United Methodist Church and Chicago
Temple, covering topics such as what types of coverage are offered, how
to get coverage, plan costs and financial help, Medicaid, local
resources, and more. Specially-trained counselors, also known as
“Navigators,” will be present to assist Chicago-area residents and
answer questions in-person.

  What: Local and Fair Trade Vendor Fair                                  What: Homeless Ministry

When: Saturday November 2, 2013                                         When: Saturday November 2, 2013

10 am to 6 pm                                                                               9 am to 11 am

Where: Broadway United Methodist Church                         Where: First United Methodist                Church/Chicago

3338 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60657                               637 S. Dearborn,
Chicago, IL 60605

Who will be there: Kate Miller & Marina Kurakin                   Who
will be there:
Gregory Gross

Visit to learn more.

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.

ACLU will Challenge Illinois Gay Marriage Ban

The gays are tired of waiting!

More than two dozen gay and lesbian couples filed lawsuits Wednesday arguing that it’s unconstitutional for Illinois to deny them the right to marry, a move advocates hope will lead to legalized same-sex marriage in the state.

Even though our Governor has come out in full support of Gay Marriage for the State of Illinois…

And  President Obama has instructed  the US Dept. of Justice to stop defending DOMA lawsuits….

And Cook County Clerk David Orr has said, “The time is long past due for the State of Illinois to allow county clerks to issue marriage licenses to gay couples who want to make their commitment....”

The ACLU and Lambda Legal feel it is  time to challenge the courts. “We feel like we are at the tipping point,”  says Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal, who headed up a similar case that led to the legalization of gay marriage for Iowa.

Legislation to eliminate the law’s
language that prohibits gay marriage is pending, but a vote isn’t
expected before the legislative session is scheduled to end this week.
And although Illinois enacted same-sex civil unions last year, couples
in the lawsuits said the limited rights and protections make them feel
like second-class citizens.

The lead plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit, which includes nine couples, are Chicago police detective Tanya Lazaro and systems analyst Elizabeth Matos. The women, who’ve been together 15 years and have two children, reject the notion of a civil union.

“It’s not the same thing as a marriage. We want our relationship, our
love and our commitment we’ve shown for 15 years to be recognized like
everybody else’s,” Lazaro said. “When you’re growing up, you don’t dream
of civil unions.”

Read more:

OF COURSE, the Christians are already screaming and shouting. (We like to call them Khristians, with a K!)

Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Chicago-based
Thomas More Society, which opposes gay marriage, said he would expect
the state’s attorney and the attorney general’s office to “defend the
constitutionality of state laws.”

“We would expect them to
forcefully defend the state’s marriage law,” Breen said. “We will
provide whatever assistance we can to help them in that defense.”

Read more: Chicago Tribune

ALCC AIDS Legal Council of Chicago Proudly Supported at Best Gay Chicago