“...this is 2013 and [we’re] doing this for our children ...it’s about equal rights for everyone ...[it’s] not just about marriage ...hopefully, this is the last frontier for equality in America...” ~ Lair Scott
“...marriage equality is a civil right...”, blogspot readers.
For centuries, marriage has been religiously defined as a union between a man and woman. However in recent days, the US Supreme heard legal arguments from two separate cases. one involving DOMA – Defense of Marriage Act. It's a federal law which "...restricts federal marriage benefits and required inter-state marriage recognition to only oppossite-sex marriages in the United States..." where in Section 3 of DOMA "...codifies the non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, Social Security survivors' benefits, immigration and the filing of joint tax returns..." Section 3 of DOMA has been found unconstitutional in eight federal courts even though it passed both houses of Congress with a high majority and was signed into law by former President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996. The other case deals with Proposition 8 (also known as the California Marriage Protection Act), a Californian law prohibiting gay marriage in which was a ballot proposition before becoming a state constitutional amendment in November 2008. Both Supreme Court decisions undoubtedly change society as well as politically defined what marriage is. In cities like Chicago, there have been protests and marches uniting many for and against marriage equality for the LGBT community despite the wait will be months away for decisions from the Justices.
On Monday evening, the cold spring weather couldn’t stop the several hundred who gathered at Federal Plaza with their posters and/or rainbow-colored flags for a marriage equality rally and then marched around downtown to the Tribune Tower. It was a unique mix of protesters from the young and old ...straight and LGBT...etc near Picasso’s Flamingo. Speakers like Kim Hunter (of Affinity Community Services) and a Lutheran minister from Romeoville, IL, fired up the crowd with their passionate speeches advocating the main central theme of equality (not just marriage) for all, blogspot readers. They emphasized how important this issue is today and reminded everyone what was at stake in the coming weeks and months as well as telling them to make sure their voices were heard not by the Supreme Justices but by the representatives on the state and federal level.
“...say ‘NO’ to ballot box bigotry...”
For example, the Lutheran minister told the crowd how she and her husband raised their three children to accect everyone as God’s children before ending “...you are loved for who you are as God created you...” Speaking to Charlie Rice-Minoso of Equality Illinois, this reviewer asked him for his thoughts about the historic importance of the US Supreme Justices hearing arguments that would politically define what marriage is. He noted how 25 years ago it wasn’t acceptable being a bi-racial couple but now, it is also adding “...it’s an exciting time to see how the scene is progressing...” Brent holding the sign from ChicagoWelcomingChurches.org had a unique religious spin by saying “...radical inclusion was the gospel of Jesus Christ...” while Pastor Kim added how marriage equality would take away the barriers and give [same sex] couples support as well as societal recognition. “...I’m happy to be able to perform these types of ceremonies...” Then, SouthSide met same sex couple Michael and Randall for their thoughts and opinions about how important this is to them. Michael, a veteran and father of two, told her “...everyone should be entitled to marriage...” meanwhile his partner of two years, Randall said “...it [marriage equality] should be given ...[it’s] a civil right ...it’s the modern era ...shouldn’t be debated...” Michael also told this reviewer that he was glad to have the love and support of his children and family.
From the youthful end of the spectrum, SouthSide briefly chatted with Liz to get her thoughts about the importance of marriage equality to which she said “...it’s time for equality for all...” and that she’s a strong supporter for gay rights, blogspot readers. While joining the protesters in their march to Tribune Towers that went east on Jackson then south on State Street and then on Wacker, SouthSide was able to spend some time with Kim Hunter asking what this issue means to her to which she stated it’s more about rights of gay marriage but equality and justice for everyone ...a civil right movement for the modern family structure, blogspot readers. “...I wish we would go to the human rights of what marriage is...” says Kim “...there are other family structures out there ...those are the types that need protection and recognition...” noting there needs to be more protection rights for them. SouthSide didn’t escape the questioning either as some of her interviewees turned the tables asking her if she supported marriage equality, blogspot readers. She supports equality for everyone and hopes her eldest daughter can enjoy the same legal benefits as married gay couple one day.
After two days of hearing arguments from both sides of the issue between these two separate cases, it's a "wait and see" process now on how the US Supreme Court will rule since a decision won't probably happen until some time in June. However, in case you haven't noticed, social media and celebrities have been outspoken oabout their views on where they stand on marriage equality. From country music artist Willie Nelson to George Takei and Jay-Z, many are voicing and/or showing their support for equal marriage rights for all.
Until next time, support your local scene,