WBEZ | same sex couples http://www.wbez.org/tags/same-sex-couples Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Co-parenting the birth certificate http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-01-18/co-parenting-birth-certificate-95632 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-18/395835_10150717494471110_702006109_12141549_1288749971_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>“Resistance to giving me the birth certificate,” I texted my wife Tuesday from the brightly lit basement office of Cook County’s Office of Vital Records.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-18/395835_10150717494471110_702006109_12141549_1288749971_n.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 359px;" title="(WBEZ/Achy Obejas)"></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">I was there to pick up our son’s official papers, vital for a million real world things, like a passport.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Like they won’t give it to you?” she texted back.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Correct,” I texted.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">We’d heard a few stories of same sex couples getting the wrong info on their child’s birth certificate, but not about anyone having the document denied.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">And that wasn’t exactly what was happening. But there seemed to be a hitch in releasing the document to me.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">I’d arrived at the county offices, read a couple of chapters of a book while waiting in line, and had had a very conventional interaction until just before I’d texted my wife. I’d shown my identification (an Illinois license), and given my son’s name and birthdate to the clerk, who quickly found him on the computer rolls.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">We hadn’t been interacting more than a couple of minutes when he showed me the birth certificate and asked me to check it. Absolutely everything was in order.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Then he took it back and asked me to confirm my birth date. Except that he’d read my wife’s birthdate.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“No,” I said, “it’s June 28, 1956.”</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">He looked at the certificate. “But you’re the mother, right?”</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Yes,” I said, “let me show you.” I pulled the certificate closer to me and pointed to where it said “Father/Co-Parent.” I let my finger slide from my name to my birthdate.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Just a minute, please,” he said. He walked away, document in hand, to the far end of the counter and conferred with various fellow employees. They all craned their necks to look at me. The entire line of waiting people turned with them. There was a lot of staff shrugging and head shaking. One guy made an unhappy face.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">My wife texted, “Why?” As in, <em>Why aren’t they giving it to you? </em>Since the passage of<a href="http://%20https://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/06/01/illinois-civil-unions-go-into-effect-today/"> Illinois Civil Unions Law</a> last July 1, same sex parents have been allowed to put both their names on a child’s birth certificate.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“I’m now schooling them on law, nicely,” I texted my wife.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">And indeed, when the clerk came back I’d explained to him that here shouldn’t be an issue, that the certificate clearly stated inclusion with “father/co-parent.”</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Oh, yes, I know the law,” he said. “We do a lot of civil unions here.” And he pointed to one end of the office, as if there was a chapel or special place down there.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Are they being dicks or just ignorant of the law?” my wife texted. “Ignorant,” I texted back.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Because it was clear to me that they knew about it but were unsure how to proceed. Could it possibly be as simple as just handing me the document, without having to do anything <em>special</em>? Could it be that, in the eyes of the law, my kid’s birth certificate and the straight couple’s next to me in line were exactly<em> the same</em>?</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">In the meantime, the certificate had been passed off to a second clerk, the one who’d made the face.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Is there a problem?” I asked him as he stood just behind the first clerk, staring at the certificate in his hand as if he was waiting for it to decode a secret message.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">He made the same face, a combination of skepticism and ick. “You the mother?” he asked.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Yes, the co-parent. All the information is correct.”</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">He made the same face yet again. “Just a minute,” he said, and went to the opposite end of the counter to do additional conferring. He made a brief pit stop to flirt/help an attractive young woman on the way.&nbsp;</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Once again, the office staff gathered around the certificate as if it were a missing leaf from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Lots of scrutiny, including turning it over a few times. A huddle. A ring of heads emerging and craning and looking over at me. The spotlight unnecesarily on me. Then a quick descent back to the huddle, and everyone separating, shrugging, shaking heads. The guy with my son’s certificate raised his eyebrows in mild incredulity.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">He came back to me with it. “It’s okay, I guess,” he said, and shrugged.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">By this time, the first clerk was pretty embarrassed. He took the certificate and handed it to me. “I have three kids myself,” he said as he took my credit card for payment. “It’s important to enjoy them while you can. They grow up so fast.”</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">Some faster than others but, yes, in the end, we all grow up.</span></p><p class="p1"><span class="s1">“Got it,” I texted my wife, and went off to do the rest of my errands.</span></p></p> Wed, 18 Jan 2012 20:19:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/achy-obejas/2012-01-18/co-parenting-birth-certificate-95632 Same sex couples protest tax status http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/same-sex-couples-protest-tax-status-85323 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/DOMA Getty Monika Graff.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In some states many same-sex couples are using their returns to point out the effect that DOMA - The Defense of Marriage Act - has on their tax status. DOMA defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. So same sex married couples cannot file federal joint tax returns.<br> <br> <a href="http://www.equalityillinois.org/bernard.html" target="_blank">Bernard Cherkasov</a> is CEO of Equality Illinois and he explained what same sex couples face during tax time.</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 13:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-04-18/same-sex-couples-protest-tax-status-85323 Hoosiers debate constitutional ban on same-sex marriage http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-senate/same-sex-ammendment <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-17/GayMarriage_Getty_JustinSullivan.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:PunctuationKerning /> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas /> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables /> <w:SnapToGridInCell /> <w:WrapTextWithPunct /> <w:UseAsianBreakRules /> <w:DontGrowAutofit /> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="156"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if !mso]><object classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui></object> <style> st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } </style> <![endif]--><span style="color: black;">Indiana</span><span style="color: black;"> lawmakers continue to debate a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. </span><span style="color: black;">State law already prohibits marriage between same sex couples, but some Hoosier lawmakers want to take the ban a step further.</span> <span style="color: black;">They want to amend the state&rsquo;s constitution so the ban can&rsquo;t be overturned by what one legislator described as &ldquo;activist judges.&rdquo;</span></p> <p style="" class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: black;">The Indiana House approved the amendment last month and it moved on to the Senate.</span><span style="color: black;"> That's where the Senate Judiciary Committee heard arguments on it yesterday at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.</span> <span style="color: black;">There, the committee heard from two prominent companies in Indiana; pharmaceutical maker Eli Lilly, and diesel engine manufacturer, Cummins Inc.</span><span style="color: black;"> Company representatives testified that a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage would hurt their firms ability to recruite top notch talent.</span></p> <p style="" class="MsoNormal">The committee delayed a vote on the matter until next week. If it&rsquo;s approved, it will move on to the full Senate. And if it passes there, the amendment would still need to be approved by the Indiana General Assembly next year.</p> <p style="" class="MsoNormal">If the amendment makes it through next year&rsquo;s legislature, Hoosier voters will have the final say if it becomes part of the Indiana constitution by voting on the measure in a referendum.</p> <p style="" class="MsoNormal">The earliest such a ban could be in the constitution would be in 2013.</p></p> Thu, 17 Mar 2011 00:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-senate/same-sex-ammendment