WBEZ | gay marriage http://www.wbez.org/tags/gay-marriage Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 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 Morning Shift: Criminologists debate the efficacy of mandatory sentencing http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-21/morning-shift-criminologists-debate-efficacy <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/jail Flickr derekskey.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Mayor Emanuel is touting proposed legislation around mandatory minimum sentencing as a method for curbing gun violence in Chicago. Two reporters on the beat take a deeper dive on this strategy. Plus, the spooky roots music of Peculiar Pretzelmen.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-how-sensible-is-mandatory-sentencing/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-how-sensible-is-mandatory-sentencing.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-how-sensible-is-mandatory-sentencing" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Criminologists debate the efficacy of mandatory sentencing" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 08:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-10-21/morning-shift-criminologists-debate-efficacy Morning Shift: Heroin addiction in the suburbs http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-24/morning-shift-heroin-addiction-suburbs-108751 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/heroin Flickr by obviously_c.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at the growing problem of heroin addiction in the suburbs. We also hear from Evanston playwright, Dan Noonan, and his new award winning play, &quot;Set Up&quot;.<br />Photo: Flickr/obviously_c</p></p> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 12:41:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-24/morning-shift-heroin-addiction-suburbs-108751 Same sex marriage suit decision to come on September 27 http://www.wbez.org/news/same-sex-marriage-suit-decision-come-september-27-108309 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/yp.png" alt="" /><p><p>The lawsuit centers around 25 same sex couples who were denied marriage licenses. Illinois allows civil unions but not gay marriage. Tom Brejcha is with the Thomas Moore Society. He represents five downstate counties that want the court to dismiss the suit.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re here to argue the law,&rdquo; noted Brejcha. &ldquo;The law says marriage is formed for a certain purpose and it&rsquo;s not discriminatory in any sense. It&rsquo;s an affirmative thing.&rdquo;</p><p>James Darby, 81, also believes it&rsquo;s an affirming distinction, which is why he wants the suit to move forward. The Korean War veteran has been with his partner Patrick Bova for 50 years. Darby says says he&rsquo;s willing to wait another month because the right to marry is worth suing for.</p><p>&ldquo;I would like to be buried at the Abraham Lincoln Cemetery in Joliet. And I would like him to be buried with me,&rdquo; said Darby, the lead plaintiff in the case represented by Lambda Legal.&nbsp; &ldquo;Because spouses can be buried with the veteran. But that&rsquo;s not happening.&rdquo;</p><p>Judge Sophia Hall says on September 27th, she&rsquo;ll issue a decision on whether to dismiss the lawsuit.</p><p><em>Yolanda Perdomo is a host and producer at WBEZ. Follow her @yolandanews.</em><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 16:56:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/same-sex-marriage-suit-decision-come-september-27-108309 Lawsuit challenges Illinois gay marriage ban http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-challenges-illinois-gay-marriage-ban-108298 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/marriageequality.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Cook County judge is hearing arguments on whether to dismiss a case challenging Illinois&#39; ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>The lawsuit being heard Tuesday before Circuit Judge Sophia Hall involves 25 couples who filed for marriage licenses in Cook County and were denied.</p><p>However, Cook County State&#39;s Attorney Anita Alvarez has refused to defend the state&#39;s ban, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. She says it violates the state constitution&#39;s equal protection clause. Attorney General Lisa Madigan has argued against the ban because the case brings the constitutionality of state laws into question.</p><p>Clerks from downstate were allowed to intervene and defend the ban.</p><p>Illinois approved civil unions in 2011, but attempts to legalize gay marriage have stalled.</p></p> Tue, 06 Aug 2013 10:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/lawsuit-challenges-illinois-gay-marriage-ban-108298