Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13



2015 CRFC Bill of Rights in Action award goes to marriage plaintiffs
by Gretchen Rachel Hammond

This article shared 5446 times since Wed Oct 7, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

The centerpiece of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago ( CRFC )'s 2015 Bill of Rights in Action benefit held in the downtown J.W. Marriott Burnham Ballroom on Oct. 6 was a table set with well over fifty separate plaques—one for each of the plaintiffs in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana and the organizations representing them in groundbreaking cases which were the genesis of marriage equality in those states and eventually nationwide.

It was an unprecedented number of awards distributed in a single evening for the 41-year-old organization which, according to their mission, is dedicated to strengthening "American Democracy by providing elementary and secondary students with hands-on learning about the Constitution to prepare them for informed civic engagement."

"We honor those involved in the marriage equality cases decided last year in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, particularly the plaintiffs, who stand as real-life and real-time examples of the Bill of Rights in action," CRFC Board Chair Benjamin Ghess noted in his introduction to the evening. "Extraordinary citizens who fought for what they believed was right and were protected by the Constitution."

His sentiments were echoed by fellow board-member Andrew W. Vail. "Tonight we are especially proud to honor the sacrifice and determination of these honorees and recognize the historic success that they helped the United States of America achieve in the critical areas of constitutional, civil and human rights," he said. "Most importantly they remind us that in life, even in law, love conquers all."

Illinois plaintiffs including Jim Darby and Patrick Bova, Lee Edwards and Brenda Lee, Vernita Gray and Pat Ewert, Gary Magruder and Edwin Hamilton alongside their peers in Wisconsin and Indiana became part of a distinguished pantheon of the CRFC's prior honorees including former United States Attorney General Janet Reno, actress Whoopi Goldberg and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Also awarded were representatives from the advocacy organizations and law firms who relentlessly litigated the marriage cases—Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ), Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Mayer Brown LLC and Miller, Shakman & Beem LLP.

"This is the icing on the cake to be honored for taking action with others representing people throughout Illinois in trying to get justice for all and marriage equality," Edwards told Windy City Times. "I think about friends like Vernita Gray and Renae Ogletree who paved the way for us to be trailblazers in that cause."

Lee added that she wants to see more people take their lead in a fight for LGBTQ civil rights that has only just begun. "I'd like to see more community support for our youth," she said. "They are the future. They have way more courage than I had at their age. Of course the number one concern that Brenda and I want to be involved with is equality and fairness for the transgender community."

"In the end the hero's journey is not over," Magruder told the audience. "You are the ones to go into the deepest part of the forest and fight for equality, liberty, freedom and justice for us all."

The global business management consulting firm Navigant was also a recipient of the award for their partnership with the CRFC.

For more information about the work of the CRFC visit: .

This article shared 5446 times since Wed Oct 7, 2015
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

WORLD Lesbian sniper, HIV research, marriage items, Chinese singer, Korean festival 2024-04-05
- A lesbian Ukrainian sniper and her machine-gun-toting girlfriend are taking the fight to Russia President Vladimir Putin, according to a Daily Beast article. Olga—a veterinarian-turned-soldier—said her comrades don't care about ...

Gay News

Thailand parliament passes landmark marriage bill 2024-03-27
- On March 27, Thailand's parliament approved a marriage-equality bill by an overwhelmingly large margin—a landmark step that moves one of Asia's most liberal countries closer to legalizing same-sex unions, media ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Va. marriage bill, AARP, online counseling, Idaho items, late activist 2024-03-21
- Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed bills protecting same-sex marriages at a state level, surprising some, WRIC reported. The bills—passed out of both chambers along mostly party lines—will require clerks ...

Gay News

Greek legislature approves marriage equality 2024-02-15
- Greece has become the 36th country, and the first Christian Orthodox-majority one, to legalize same-sex marriage. The BBC reported that same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after the 176-76 vote that ...

Gay News

Tenn. legislators back bill that lets officials refuse to perform same-sex weddings 2024-02-15
- Defying a national ruling that authorized marriage equality, Tennessee lawmakers approved a measure that would allow public officials to refuse to perform weddings of same-sex couples, The Hill reported. Tennessee's House Bill 878/Senate Bill 596 says ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Greece, UK politics, cruise death, HRC grants 2024-02-02
- The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece unanimously agreed at a recent meeting that it is "strongly opposed" to the Greek government's promised bill on same-sex marriage and adoption, Balkan Insight reported. The conservative New ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage news, fighting fentanyl, anti-LGBTQ+ crimes, Grindr 2024-02-02
- The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would affirm marriage equality in the state, The Washington Blade noted. House Bill 174, introduced by state Del. Rozia Henson (D-Prince William County), passed in the Democratic-controlled ...

Gay News

WORLD Activist honored, marriages in Estonia, Madrid law, trans sports item 2024-01-05
Video below - The National AIDS Commission (NAC) recently honored Caleb Orozco—a leading figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Belize—for his instrumental contributions to the national HIV response, BNN reported. According ...

Gay News

Catholic Church allows priests to bless same-sex couples but reaffirms disapproval of gay marriage 2023-12-22
- LGBTQ+ couples can now receive blessings from priests, but the Catholic Church maintained its strict ban on gay marriage, according to a Vatican document approved by Pope Francis Dec. 18. This historic change in doctrine marks ...

Gay News

Greek government vows to back marriage equality 2023-12-22
- Despite opposition from the Church of Greece and within the ruling New Democracy, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' government said it will eventually move to legalize same-sex marriage, The National Herald reported. However, no timetable was ...

Gay News

Dignity/Chicago welcomes new rule on church blessings for same-sex marriages 2023-12-18
--From a press release - Dignity/Chicago, the advocacy organization for LGBTQI Catholics and friends, welcomed the news that the Vatican's doctrinal office has officially declared it possible for Catholic priests to bless same-sex unions and ...

Gay News

New Ways Ministry: Pope's blessings approval is Christmas gift to LGBTQ+ Catholics 2023-12-18
--From a press release - MOUNT RAINIER, Maryland—Statement by Francis DeBernardo, Executive Director, New Ways Ministry: Pope Francis gave LGBTQ+ Catholics an early Christmas gift this year by approving blessings for same-gender couples. The Vatican ...

Gay News

Pope Francis changes policy, allowing priests to bless same-sex unions; GLAAD responds 2023-12-18
--From a press release - GLAAD: "By removing barriers to priests blessing LGBTQ couples, the Pope accurately recognizes that LGBTQ people and our relationships are worthy of the same affirmation and support in the Church, and this strengthens couples in their ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ couple the first in South Asia to have marriage recognized 2023-11-30
- Transgender woman Maya Gurung and Surendra Pandey became the first LGBTQ+ couple to have their marriage legally recognized in South Asia after they received a legal certificate in Nepal's Lamjung district on Nov. 29, The Guardian ...

Gay News

WORLD Thai marriage law, French bill, Miss Universe, IKEA, activist dies 2023-11-24
- Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that the cabinet approved a draft law on marriage equality and that it would be brought to parliament during a session starting in December, Reuters reported. If the draft law ...


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.