WBEZ | gay marriage http://www.wbez.org/tags/gay-marriage Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en After marriage equality, what's next for the LGBT movement? http://www.wbez.org/news/after-marriage-equality-whats-next-lgbt-movement-112269 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/prideap.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Amid celebrations about the Supreme Court&#39;s decision legalizing gay marriage, some within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are also raising concerns about what may lie ahead for them.</p><p>J. Bryan Lowder, an editor at&nbsp;Slate,&nbsp;outlined his own concerns earlier this week in a piece that he published before the Supreme Court decision, titled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/06/25/some_unintended_consequences_of_marriage_equality_worth_taking_seriously.html">&quot;The Real Dangers of Same-Sex Marriage</a>.&quot; In the article, he writes the he is &quot;worrying ... about what the solidly established right to marriage might do to queer people and to the unique community we&#39;ve created over the past century or so.&quot;</p><p>Aside from marriage, &quot;there are many other issues in the community that are more important to certain individuals,&quot; Lowder tells NPR&#39;s Arun Rath. Marriage &quot;is a very happy kind of cause,&quot; he says, and &quot;I do worry that once marriage equality is done, we&#39;re going to lose some of the allies that we&#39;ve had in the past because it&#39;s just not as fun to be involved in it.&quot;</p><div><hr /></div><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Interview Highlights</span></p><p><strong>On why marriage may not be right for everyone</strong></p><p>In some cases, couples don&#39;t want to get married, they would prefer to have the domestic partnership. And that can be for ideological reasons, they may not, sort of, like the institution of marriage.</p><p>But also, in certain states where there are no discrimination protections for LGBT people, you know, there&#39;s the line that says, &quot;If you get married on Sunday, you could get fired on Monday.&quot; So forcing people, in a sense, to get married by getting rid of these domestic partnership agreements could make them have to come out to their communities ... [putting them] in danger of being discriminated against.</p><p><strong>On implications for future support for other LGBT causes</strong></p><p>The interesting thing about marriage as a social cause over the past few decades or so has been that it is a very happy kind of cause. It&#39;s easy to brand it as a beautiful thing because we all love to see pictures of people being happy and in love. It&#39;s very easy to share on social media, which ... incidentally [has] arisen alongside the marriage equality movement. And so marriage in some ways has been an easy sell. I don&#39;t want to overstate that, because obviously there&#39;s been a lot of intense activism to get to the point we got to.</p><p>But the things that are coming up for the LGBT community next &mdash; such as discrimination or trans-phobia &mdash; all the things we&#39;re coming to next in our movement are just not as easily shareable and happy. So I do worry that once marriage equality is done, we&#39;re going to lose some of the allies that we&#39;ve had in the past because it&#39;s just not as fun to be involved in it. And I hope that&#39;s not true, but I think it could happen.</p><p><strong>On other LGBT issues that deserve attention</strong></p><p>A lot of, for instance, trans[gender] individuals would much rather have more protections for their particular issues than for marriage equality. Also, LGBT homelessness among youth is a huge problem in this country, in cases where parents kick people out for identifying as queer. So fixing that problem might be a more immediate concern for those individuals than, you know, getting married. ... There are many other issues in the community that are more important to certain individuals.</p><p><strong>What marriage may mean for gay culture</strong></p><p>Because gay people and lesbian people and the entire community did not have the ability to get married, that was not a goal within the community. So you didn&#39;t grow up as a gay kid hoping for your wedding, because it just wasn&#39;t a possibility. Some people may have wanted it, but most of us, you know, just didn&#39;t think about it because it wasn&#39;t on the table.</p><p>And so, I think that that allowed us to imagine different ways of being in romantic relationships and loving. So for some of us, that meant monogamous relationships that looked exactly like a married couple, and just didn&#39;t have the legal imprimatur of the state. But for other people, they had many different kinds of arrangements.</p><p>And so what I do worry about is, with this opportunity being offered to everyone now &mdash; which is clearly a great thing &mdash; maybe we will lose some of that imagination that the gay community has had in the past to think about how to live in different ways and, you know, really offer a critique to straight culture of how we can arrange our romantic lives.</p><p><em>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/06/28/418327652/after-marriage-equality-whats-next-for-the-lgbt-movement">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Sun, 28 Jun 2015 19:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-marriage-equality-whats-next-lgbt-movement-112269 Gay marriage: High court sets stage for historic ruling http://www.wbez.org/news/gay-marriage-high-court-sets-stage-historic-ruling-111416 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/750px-Flickr_-_USCapitol_-_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WASHINGTON &mdash; Setting the stage for a potentially historic ruling, the Supreme Court announced Friday it will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry everywhere in America under the Constitution.</p><p>The justices will take up gay-rights cases that ask them to declare for the entire nation that people can marry the partners of their choice, regardless of gender. The cases will be argued in April, and a decision is expected by late June.</p><p>Proponents of same-sex marriage said they expect the court to settle the matter once and for all with a decision that invalidates state provisions that define marriage as between a man and a woman. On the other side, advocates for traditional marriage want the court to let the political process play out, rather than have judges order states to allow same-sex couples to marry.</p><p>Same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia.</p><p>That number is nearly double what it was just three months ago, when the justices initially declined to hear gay marriage appeals from five states seeking to preserve their bans on same-sex marriage. The effect of the court&#39;s action in October was to make final several pro-gay rights rulings in the lower courts.</p><p>Now there are just 14 states in which same-sex couples cannot wed. The court&#39;s decision to get involved is another marker of the rapid change that has redefined societal norms in the space of a generation.</p><p>The court will be weighing in on major gay rights issues for the fourth time in in 27 years. In the first of those, in 1986, the court upheld Georgia&#39;s anti-sodomy law in a devastating defeat for gay rights advocates.</p><p>But the three subsequent rulings, all written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, were major victories for gay men and lesbians. In its most recent case in 2013, the court struck down part of a federal anti-gay marriage law in a decision that has paved the way for a wave of lower court rulings across the country in favor of same-sex marriage rights.</p><p>The court is extending the time it usually allots for argument from an hour to two-and-a-half hours. The justices will consider two related questions. The first is whether the Constitution requires states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The other is whether states must recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.</p><p>The appeals before the court come from gay and lesbian plaintiffs in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. The federal appeals court that oversees those four states upheld their same-sex marriage bans in November, reversing pro-gay rights rulings of federal judges in all four states. It was the first, and so far only, appellate court to rule against same-sex marriage since the high court&#39;s 2013 decision.</p><p>Ten other states also prohibit such unions. In Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota and Texas, judges have struck down anti-gay marriage laws, but they remain in effect pending appeals. In Missouri, same-sex couples can marry in St. Louis and Kansas City only.</p><p>Louisiana is the only other state that has seen its gay marriage ban upheld by a federal judge. There have been no rulings on lawsuits in Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska and North Dakota.</p></p> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/gay-marriage-high-court-sets-stage-historic-ruling-111416 Indiana same-sex marriage proponents celebrate Supreme Court decision http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-same-sex-marriage-proponents-celebrate-supreme-court-decision-110904 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Gay-Marriage-.png" alt="" /><p><p>Kelly Dooley says it doesn&rsquo;t take much for him and his friends to celebrate.</p><p>But on Monday night, Dooley raised his glass for a toast at a restaurant in Crown Point, Indiana.</p><p>Dooley and about a dozen friends celebrated the U.S. Supreme Court&rsquo;s inaction, which nullifies Indiana&rsquo;s ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>Although Dooley got married eight years ago in Canada, his marriage to his husband Matthew wasn&rsquo;t recognize by Indiana -- until now.</p><p>&ldquo;This is a great day. We&rsquo;re very, very happy here with this group,&rdquo; Dooley said.</p><p>Dooley&rsquo;s friend Jacqueline Castro joined the celebration.</p><p>&ldquo;(I) Never saw it coming,&rdquo; Castro said. &ldquo;Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would happen, no. Not in Indiana.&rdquo;</p><p>Castro&rsquo;s been with her partner Nancy for 20 some years. She married in late June when a federal judge initially nixed Indiana&rsquo;s same-sex marriage ban.</p><p>That ruling was appealed by the State of Indiana. Her marriage, and that of hundreds of other same-sex couples, was put on hold.</p><p>That hold was dropped once the U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear Indiana&rsquo;s case and similar ones filed by Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia.</p><p>This makes same-sex marriage legal in 30 states and the District of Columbia.</p><p>Castro says the ruling brings a sense of security for her and her wife.</p><p>&ldquo;Now, no matter what happens to me, my partner will be secure in her future and vise-versa. It&rsquo;s no different than anybody else,&rdquo; Castro said.</p><p>But not everyone is celebrating the decision.</p><p>Just up the street at a coffee shop, Kent Lane says he can&rsquo;t and won&rsquo;t support gay marriage.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t like it. Not at all,&rdquo; said Lane, who lives in the the town of Remington, about 20 miles south of Crown Point.&nbsp; &ldquo;It just should be between a man and a woman. It&rsquo;s wrong in the Bible. It&rsquo;s wrong, period. Like they said way back, It was Adam and Eve, it wasn&rsquo;t Adam and Steve.&rdquo;</p><p>Lane isn&rsquo;t alone.</p><p>Dr. Ron Johnson Jr.&nbsp; is a local minister and head of the Indiana Pastors Alliance.</p><p>&ldquo;I think what this is a sign of is the deep moral darkness that our nation is in right now that we can&rsquo;t figure out something as something as commonsensical as the fact that marriage should be between a man and woman who can have children,&rdquo; Dr. Johnson said.&nbsp;</p><p>Dr. Johnson is also miffed that the court nullified the will of most Hoosiers who supported the state&rsquo;s definition of marriage.</p><p>&ldquo;I just get deeply concerned when we have judges who think they know better than the millions of Hoosiers who already weighed in a situation or who should be given the opportunity to weigh in on a situation,&rdquo; Johnson said.</p><p>Although he doesn&rsquo;t support the ruling, Indiana&rsquo;s Republican Gov. Mike Pence says he will respect it.</p><p>Pence urges Indiana residents to continue to demonstrate civility and &quot;respect the beliefs of all people in our state.&quot;</p><p>But Indiana Senate Pro Tem David Long, a Republican from Fort Wayne, was shocked by the Supreme Court&rsquo;s inaction.</p><p>&ldquo;It is surprising, given the importance of this issue to our society, that the U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to take up this matter, but instead to rely upon lower court rulings,&rdquo; Long said. &ldquo;That being said, the Court appears to have sent a message that if they ultimately do hear these cases, they will support these lower court rulings, and find that same-sex marriage is on equal footing with traditional marriage.&rdquo;</p><p>Long added an effort to write a same-sex marriage ban into the Indiana&rsquo;s constitution is also over after several years of trying.</p><p>&ldquo;The effort to amend the Indiana Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman would appear to be over unless the U.S. Supreme Court reverses its decision and ultimately takes up the matter in the future to overturn the current decision by the 7th Circuit concerning Indiana law,&rdquo; Long said. &ldquo;Given today&rsquo;s ruling, that appears unlikely.&rdquo;</p><p>Kelly Dooley knows not everyone will be happy with the ruling, but says Indiana has already come a long way in terms of accepting same-sex marriage.</p><p>&ldquo;(Attitudes) are not going to flip over night and it&rsquo;s going to be a long time,&rdquo; Dooley said. &ldquo;But I said it once before and say it again: Had I ever been asked 20 years ago that this would be like this, I could have said no.&rdquo;</p><p>County clerk offices through Indiana are gearing up for what could be a busy day on Tuesday.</p><p>There is no waiting period as judges can perform marriage ceremonies today.</p><p><em>The Associated Press contributed to this story.</em></p><p><em>Michael Puente is WBEZ&rsquo;s Northwest Indiana Bureau reporter. Following him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews">@MikePuenteNews</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 07:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-same-sex-marriage-proponents-celebrate-supreme-court-decision-110904 Did the Supreme Court just legalize gay marriage? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/did-supreme-court-just-legalize-gay-marriage-110903 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ap13498193275_wide-2c372ebaccbafc28cf6f9e841ea4af7856422407-s40-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Technically, the Supreme Court today did <em>not</em> establish a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. It merely declined an opportunity to rule definitely one way or the other on the question.</p><p>But in the not-too-long run, the consequences may well be the same. Because the situation the court created &mdash; or acknowledged &ndash; will almost surely continue trending in favor of same-sex couples who want to marry.</p><p>Conversely, the legal ground is eroding for states that want to stop such marriages or deny them legal recognition.</p><p>As thousands more same-sex couples marry all over the country, this legal climate change becomes a kind of <em>fait accompli</em>.</p><p>For the moment, the court&#39;s denial of review means state-enacted bans on same-sex marriage in five states were wiped off the books. The denial meant lower court rulings that spiked those bans will now stand. Let&#39;s call them The Five.</p><p>So couples in The Five could begin marrying regardless of gender as of today &mdash; and some got licenses immediately.</p><p>In six other states that had banned the practice, further legal proceedings may be needed to apply the rulings of the relevant federal Circuit Courts of Appeal. But because these six are connected to The Five through the federal circuit system (jurisdictions for the purpose of appealing federal court decisions) the same judgment will apply. Effectuating that judgment in these six states is a short step &ndash; and one that is already in motion.</p><p>Then they will be just like The Five.</p><p>That will bring the number of states where gay marriage has been legalized, either by the state itself or through these federal cases, to 30. And these states are home to the vast majority of the national population.</p><p>There are still ways for the Supreme Court to re-assert itself in this debate. But the question is, do they want to?</p><p>Many legal experts have looked over the landscape and perceived both a trend in the federal system and a signal from the nine justices who sit at its zenith.</p><p>Amy Howe, the editor of the highly regarded <a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/" target="_blank">SCOTUSBlog</a> told NPR&#39;s Nina Totenberg that the justices &quot;are very smart people&quot; and added, &quot;I don&#39;t think they&#39;re going to be able to put the genie back in the bottle.&quot;</p><p>The genie got out back in June 2013, when the court decided Windsor v. United States, throwing out the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). By smacking down this pivotal federal statute, the court threw wide the gates for other challenges to state laws barring gay marriage or otherwise treating gays differently.</p><p>Now, as those challenges come in waves, the federal courts at all levels are applying the reasoning from Windsor with great consistency.</p><p>If the high court wanted to use that as an occasion to declare a constitutional right, it could have taken one or more of the cases it denied today. But opponents of gay marriage had hoped the court would take such a case for precisely the opposite reason &ndash; to uphold the states&#39; right to ban gay marriage.</p><p>Instead, Howe observes, the justices instructed their confreres at lower levels of the pyramid to &quot;keep on doing what you&#39;re doing.&quot;</p><p>In other words, there isn&#39;t a clear majority of the nine to settle the matter with a landmark ruling one way or the other.</p><p>They could choose to re-enter the fray at some later point, perhaps when another Circuit Court of Appeals weighs in with a ruling that supports the state&#39;s right to ban gay marriage. That would at least create a conflict for the Supreme Court to resolve.</p><p>Or it could revisit the issue later, perhaps when a clear majority has formed either to prohibit gay marriage or to permit it. That might require waiting until Justice Anthony Kennedy, a swing vote on such issues, declares himself. Or it could await the next retirement of a sitting justice and the confirmation of a successor.</p><p>But as the number of legal gay marriages skyrockets, and the practice becomes both legal and common across most of the states and most of the population, a future court is less and less likely to rescind it.</p><p>Or even take such a case.</p><p><em><em>&mdash; </em></em><a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/10/06/354140391/did-the-supreme-court-just-legalize-gay-marriage" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Mon, 06 Oct 2014 17:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/did-supreme-court-just-legalize-gay-marriage-110903 Latina lesbians facing terminal illness celebrate life, love in wedding http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/latina-lesbians-facing-terminal-illness-celebrate-life-love-wedding-110272 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/wedding_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It was about 30 minutes before Carol Boyd was going to tie the knot Sunday. She was upstairs at the Chicago Urban Arts Society in Pilsen, touching up her makeup, while her two daughters fluffed up the skirt on her wedding dress.</p><p>&ldquo;Thank you,&rdquo; she told them. &ldquo; My daughters are giving me away, I&rsquo;m like the proudest mom on earth.&rdquo;</p><p>She took photos, then headed downstairs with her daughters and friends running lookout. She was trying to avoid even the briefest glimpse of her bride-to-be. The couple wanted to honor the traditional custom and be surprised.</p><p>&ldquo;Now we get to take exactly what everybody else gets to take, a marriage certificate, a marriage license,&rdquo; Carol said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m excited, I&rsquo;m happy, and I&rsquo;m proud to be able to do this today and make history.&rdquo;</p><p>In a hallway off to the side of the reception area, her future bride, Mae Yee, was pacing. She has a shaved head, and was sporting a white brocaded vest and a red bow tie.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m a little nervous,&rdquo; Mae said, laughing. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m getting married for the first time for real, I mean &lsquo;real&rsquo; real, this is like federal real.&rdquo;</p><p>They were about to join three other lesbian couples in a ceremony called &ldquo;A Big Queer Latina Wedding.&rdquo;&nbsp; They were among dozens of couples -- gay, lesbian and straight -- who took part in various mass weddings across Chicago to celebrate June 1, the first day same-sex marriages became legal in Illinois.</p><p>May and Carol Yee both hope the state&rsquo;s new same-sex marriage law leads to greater mainstream acceptance, but their particular wedding vows go even deeper than that.</p><p>Carol&rsquo;s a colon cancer survivor, and Mae has stage IV breast cancer. She&rsquo;s going to chemo every 21 days, hoping to prolong their life together as much as possible.</p><p>Mae said marriage means she can take care of her family financially, even if she&rsquo;s not here anymore.</p><p>&ldquo;I get sick, I can say, &lsquo;This is my wife, and these are my kids, and please let them in,&rsquo; and they have to abide by that, so I&rsquo;m very, very happy about that.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Oh my goodness, today is amazing, &ldquo; said Jessica Carillo, who organized the Latina event, which was sponsored by United Latino Pride and Lambda Legal. &ldquo;Today is a day closer to sort of being seen more equal in the eyes of our families, in the eyes of our community. For Latinos, marriage is a huge milestone. Marriage is, sort of what you&rsquo;re meant to do, to build a family.&rdquo;</p><p>Carillo said many Latinos face the twin challenges of Catholicism prohibiting same-sex marriage, and having parents who grew up in another country.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re bringing the ideas from back home, they&rsquo;re bringing whatever those biases in the way they grew up,&rdquo; Carillo says, adding the younger generation is growing up here with new ideas. &ldquo;And so when you mix those two things, there&rsquo;s a clash.&rdquo;</p><p>Carillo said she hopes same-sex marriage becoming legal will lead to more acceptance by Latinos and society.</p><p>But even though this was a day of celebration for LGBT people across the state, Evette Cardona said there&rsquo;s work to be done. She co-founded Amigas Latinas, an organization that seeks to empower and educate LGBT Latinas, with her wife, the city&rsquo;s Human Relations Commissioner, Mona Noriega.</p><p>&ldquo;While today we celebrate these four couples, tomorrow there&rsquo;s 10 times the number of families that won&rsquo;t accept their lesbian daughters,&rdquo; Cardona says. &ldquo;In the communities of color, if you are rejected by your family, and you also experience rejection by the mainstream community, where do you turn?&rdquo;</p><p>In fact, the parents of one of the brides, Juanita Gonzalez, didn&rsquo;t attend the wedding. But she found support in her aunts, uncles and cousins, as well as the family she&rsquo;s formed with her wife, Janet Cecil. Janet has two daughters, and a granddaughter, and they all stood by as the couple spoke their vows and exchanged rings.</p><p>When Juanita broke down midway through, one of Janet&rsquo;s daughters reached out to pat her back, and her little granddaughter did the same.</p><p>The couple, grandmothers now, were best friends in high school. Juanita says she knew she loved Janet at 16. But Janet thought it was wrong for her to feel this way about a woman. They moved in other directions, but said they kept finding their way back to each other, until they finally became a couple. Janet&rsquo;s friends and family&rsquo;s reaction? Essentially, &lsquo;Finally.&rsquo;</p><p>Like the other couples, Carol and Mae Yee shared their vows with laughter and tears, the promises to care for each other in sickness and health, deep with meaning.</p><p>&ldquo;...I vow to love you with every being, even after my last breath,&rdquo; Mae said. &ldquo;I promise to cherish each moment God has given us together for the rest of our lives &hellip;&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I love you whether you&rsquo;re fat or fit, and when you&rsquo;re hurt, and when you&rsquo;re sick&hellip;&rdquo; Carol vowed.</p><p>The couple runs a charity together in their spare time called Humble Hearts, providing the homeless with food, clothing and furniture.</p><p>Carol said that didn&rsquo;t leave much for a fancy wedding with a reception, so she was grateful for the all-volunteer event in Pilsen, which was free for everyone attending.</p><p>Before the ceremony, a tearful Carol said of her bride, Mae: &ldquo;She&rsquo;s here today to live long enough to actually be married. It&rsquo;s my gift to her, it&rsquo;s me committing to her for better or worse, sickness and health. She&rsquo;s got a lot of sickness right now, but I&rsquo;m not going anywhere.&rdquo;</p><p>On this, their wedding day, there was no sickness in sight, only joy.</p><p>When the music started, they jumped out onto the dance floor with the three other newly married couples. And their first dance?</p><p>The song made famous by Etta James, &ldquo;At Last.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Lynette Kalsnes is a WBEZ producer/reporting covering religion and culture.</em></p></p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 07:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/latina-lesbians-facing-terminal-illness-celebrate-life-love-wedding-110272 Indiana Senate approves diluted gay marriage ban http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-senate-approves-diluted-gay-marriage-ban-109719 <p><p>INDIANAPOLIS &mdash; The Indiana Senate has advanced a proposed constitutional marriage ban with language that pushes off the soonest public referendum until at least 2016.</p><p>The Senate voted 32-17 Monday afternoon in favor of the measure. The vote comes after the Indiana Senate&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/gay-marriage-supporters-hail-setback-indiana-ban-109700">approved a version last week</a> which would put off a public referendum until at least 2016.</p><p>Indiana senators advanced the proposed ban without a provision that would ban civil unions. Under the state&#39;s constitutional amendment process, the civil unions ban needed to be included in the amendment for it to be placed on this November&#39;s ballot.</p><p>The Senate&#39;s decision last week marked a victory for opponents of the marriage ban just three years after legislators approved the amendment with broad support.</p></p> Mon, 17 Feb 2014 15:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/indiana-senate-approves-diluted-gay-marriage-ban-109719 Gay marriage supporters hail setback for Indiana ban http://www.wbez.org/news/gay-marriage-supporters-hail-setback-indiana-ban-109700 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flickr_Geoff Livingston_indiana.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>INDIANAPOLIS &mdash; Opponents of an effort to place Indiana&#39;s gay marriage ban in the state constitution won a surprising victory Thursday as the Senate effectively pushed off a statewide vote on the issue for at least two years, and possibly longer.</p><p>In a parliamentary move that spared state senators a tough vote on the measure, the Senate advanced the marriage ban without the &quot;second sentence&quot; ban on civil unions. The House stripped that language from the amendment before passing it last month, and the Senate&#39;s decision not to restore the language before voting Thursday means the effort to amend the constitution must start fresh.</p><p>Even if Indiana&#39;s marriage ban clears the Senate on a final vote Monday, it would have to be debated again in the next biennial session, 2015-16, before it could appear before voters.</p><p>Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said many lawmakers sensed that the final say on the issue ultimately will be made by the U.S. Supreme Court. A federal court ruling this week that Kentucky must recognized same-sex marriages performed in other states was weighed in private discussions among Senate Republicans, and Long said he could sense momentum building for a high court ruling.</p><p>&quot;In reality, I think the issue is going to be before the United States Supreme Court &mdash; as I&#39;ve said before &mdash; and it&#39;s either going to be a state&#39;s rights issue and each state decides for itself or it&#39;s going to be decided by the Supreme Court that it&#39;s a violation of the 14th Amendment,&quot; Long said. &quot;One way or another they&#39;re going to have the final say in this because the U.S. Constitution trumps a state constitution.&quot;</p><p>Indiana&#39;s gay marriage battle was playing out as federal courts in Oklahoma and Utah overturned constitutional bans and New Mexico&#39;s high court overturned that state&#39;s marriage ban.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/134702960&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;visual=true" width="721px"></iframe></p><p><em>Devonte Glass of Gary, Indiana (center) stands with friends who traveled to Indianapolis on Thursday to protest against an effort to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. (WBEZ/Michael Puente)</em></p><p>The state Senate&#39;s decision caps a sharp turnabout in Indiana, where just three years ago the constitutional ban passed the General Assembly with overwhelming majorities. But national attitudes on gay marriage have shifted sharply, and opponents of the ban were able to build a strong coalition that lobbied Indiana lawmakers heavily &mdash; privately and in public.</p><p>Indiana&#39;s gay marriage battle also opened a rift among Republicans in the solidly conservative state. Pro-business conservatives, including many who had worked closely with former Gov. Mitch Daniels, largely lined up against the marriage ban. While social conservatives, mostly aligned with Republican Gov. Mike Pence, fought hard to shepherd the ban to the 2014 ballot.</p><p>Some of the Republican Party&#39;s strongest fundraisers, including former George W. Bush economic adviser Al Hubbard and former Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jim Kittle, opened their wallets for Freedom Indiana, the umbrella organization opposing the marriage ban.</p><p>&quot;Six months ago, if you&#39;d said lawmakers would refuse to put this issue on the ballot in 2014 by stripping out the deeply flawed second sentence, I&#39;d have said there&#39;s no way,&quot; said Megan Robertson, Freedom Indiana campaign manager and a veteran Indiana Republican operative.</p><p>The author of a proposal that would have restored the civil unions ban and place the constitutional ban back on track for a November referendum bemoaned the fact that he could not find enough support among Republican senators.</p><p>The ban&#39;s &quot;second sentence is officially dead in the 2014 IGA. Not enough support to reinsert it on 2nd reading,&quot; Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, wrote on Twitter. Long later chided Delph for discussing a private meeting of the Indiana Republicans.</p><p>When the constitutional ban came up for consideration Thursday, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann &mdash; who presides over the Senate &mdash; asked lawmakers if they had any amendments. The Senate chamber was silent, as were hundreds of activists just outside the Senate who had been chanting and singing just minutes earlier.</p><p>Ellspermann then acknowledged she had heard no amendments to the measure, and declared it ready for a final vote later in the Senate. Thursday was the last day lawmakers could have altered the measure and put it back on track for a November vote.</p><p>Delph later said he did not seek a vote on restoring the &quot;second sentence&quot; civil unions ban because he knew it would fail.</p><p>Supporters of the ban say it is needed to prevent courts from overturning Indiana&#39;s law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But they struggled to find their footing after House lawmakers stripped the civil unions language.</p><p>Pence lobbied for a November vote on the ban in his State of the State address and at a rally of ban supporters, but later said he was removing himself from the legislative debate.</p><p>Angie Strickler, of Indianapolis, hailed the Senate&#39;s decison.</p><p>&quot;I think today&#39;s a victory period. I think putting the vote off until 2016 is a victory in the long run because so much is going to change between now and then,&quot; Strickler told WBEZ outside the Indiana Senate&#39;s Chambers on Thursday. &quot;Would it be nice if the Senate just vote it down and for it to go away forever come Monday, yes, that would be awesome. I would be proud of the senators for doing the right thing.&quot;</p><p>Gary, Indiana native Dovonte Glass also attended the key session of the Indiana Senate with a group of young opponents of HJR-3.</p><p>He&#39;s glas the Senate&#39;s inactin keeps a ban on same-sex marriage out of the state constitution, at least for now.</p><p>&quot;As long as we&#39;re human, we all deserve the same rights as everyone else. I think freedom means for freedom for everyone,&quot; said Glass, who attends Indiana University in South Bend.</p><p>But Sharon Pearson of Indianapolis, sat outside the Senate holding a sign in support of &quot;traditional marraige.&quot; She sat with her 10 year old daughter. She thinks the move to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States is bad for children.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m very disappointed. I was hoping that they were going to allow the people to have a voice in this important decision for Indiana,&quot; Pearson said.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 13 Feb 2014 16:36:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/gay-marriage-supporters-hail-setback-indiana-ban-109700 Gay couple to get Illinois marriage license early http://www.wbez.org/news/gay-couple-get-illinois-marriage-license-early-109254 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/gay marriage passes - AP Seth Perlman_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A federal court ruling means a same-sex Chicago couple will be allowed to marry before the state&#39;s gay marriage law takes effect.</p><p>U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin on Monday ordered the Cook County clerk to issue an expedited marriage license to Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert. Gray is terminally ill.</p><p>County Clerk David Orr said he&#39;ll comply with the order.</p><p>Illinois&#39; gay marriage law takes effect June 1. But the gay rights group Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois filed a lawsuit seeking immediate action for Gray and Ewert. Gray has cancer in her brain and bones.</p><p>Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal says Gray wants to marry the woman she loves before she dies.</p><p>Orr notes expedited licenses are granted to heterosexual couples in similar situations.</p></p> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 06:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/gay-couple-get-illinois-marriage-license-early-109254 Morning Shift: Same-sex marriage to become legal in Illinois http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-06/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-become-legal-illinois <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by @bastique.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After months of delay, Illinois is set to become the 15th state to allow same sex marriage, after state lawmakers approved the bill last night. Morning Shift is covering the story from all angles, getting reactions from listeners, citizens, and lawmakers.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-to-become-legal-in/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-to-become-legal-in.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-to-become-legal-in" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Same-sex marriage to become legal in Illinois" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 11:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-06/morning-shift-same-sex-marriage-become-legal-illinois Morning Shift: Fifty years after the 1963 school boycott, where are we on reform? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-22/morning-shift-fifty-years-after-1963-school-boycott <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/courtesy of 63 boycott.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look back at the 1963 Chicago school boycotts and hear about the event&#39;s lasting legacy. And, WBEZ&#39;s Tony Arnold previews the fall veto session. (Photo: Flickr/Shutter Stutter)</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-remembering-the-1963-chicago-school/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-remembering-the-1963-chicago-school.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-remembering-the-1963-chicago-school" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Fifty years after the 1963 school boycott, where are we on reform?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 08:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-22/morning-shift-fifty-years-after-1963-school-boycott