Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Challenges of Same-Sex Families Cited in Landmark Event; LGBT Blacks and Latinos Speak Out
2006-05-01

This article shared 5080 times since Mon May 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


By D. Kevin McNeir

The Mexican Fine Arts Museum, located at 1852 West 19th, was the venue for a revealing forum in April. LGBT Black and Latino same-sex households shared their concerns and the problems they face as they attempt to successfully raise children in a society that still condones and even calls for multiple forms of discrimination.

About 100 men, women and children attended the free event, presented by Lambda Legal and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force with additional sponsors that included Orguillo en Accion and the host museum.

The forum also included free guided tours of the museum's newest exhibit, The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present, which has been described as the most comprehensive project ever organized about African contributions to Mexican culture and also includes two other exhibits: Who Are We Now? Roots, Resistance & Recognition, and Common Goals, Common Struggles, Common Ground.

Mary Morten, director for the Illinois Coalition for Education on Sexual Orientation, highlighted information gleaned from two recently released reports based on data from the 2000 census: Black Same-Sex Households in the United States and Hispanic and Latino Same-Sex Couple Households in the United States.

'The data that I felt compelled to discuss illustrates how anti-gay and anti-marriage philosophies in the U.S. disproportionately affect African Americans and Latinos,' Morten said. 'We already know America's current policies but with these two reports we can begin to use undisputable facts and point to the implications for Black and Latinos same-sex households. We have always said that we [ Black and Latino same-sex families ] are everywhere—now we have proof. In Illinois, for example, the report indicates that there are 23,000 same-sex households.'

Morten's comments focused on four specific areas: immigration, parenting, age and income. However, the two reports also reveal important statistics about disability, employment, residential patterns, family structure, military service and educational levels.

Among the revelations from the census reports are that white male same-sex couples report over $24,000 more in annual household income than Black male same-sex couples. Another facet is that there are 1,138 federal benefits and protections available to married couples that same-sex couples cannot access. For example, same-sex couples must report domestic-partner health insurance as income and pay income taxes on it, while married opposite-sex couples are not taxed on spousal health insurance.

The forum also featured two couples that have either raised or are currently raising children together and were invited to talk about how current policies and some of the data from the two reports continue to affect their lives.

David Harris and Willie Porter are two African-American men who are married and have been together for seven years. Both men were previously married to women and fathered two children and one child, respectively. They raised Porter's son together and he recently left their home to attend college.

Marilyn Morales and Angela Diaz are partners in a Puerto Rican/Columbian same-sex household where they are raising three children. Because their children are younger in age than those of Harris and Porter, they shared different experiences about the challenges of parenting.

'We studied the report carefully and we both agree that our primary concern as a same-sex couple is healthcare,' Harris said. 'We are fortunate because we both work for companies that provide domestic-partnership coverage, but many others are not. Another challenge that Black same-sex couples face, particularly those with children, is access to housing that is in safe neighborhoods with quality education. Whites can sometimes separate their sexual orientation and their ethnicity but Blacks don't have that option. The majority of us tend to live in our own communities, not gay communities. And it's funny because while we own a home together in the south suburbs, I believe that most of our neighbors probably think we're heterosexual.'

'When you have kids you have to be out,' Morales added. 'Our children are school-age, and so they are part of our everyday lives. It's an education for those around us and being in a home that is Puerto Rican and Columbian makes for a great deal of humor. Our greatest concern is that our children will face discrimination because of their parents are gay, but often we find that discrimination comes because of our ethnicity.'

'We have combined our financial assets and emphasized with those who sold us our cars and our home, that we were a same-sex couple,' Porter said. 'But we have had to do some much work in terms of putting things together in the event that one of us should die. It is important for both of us that should that occur, that the remaining partner will be able to maintain our current standard of living. It's much more difficult given the current laws in America for same-sex couples to do that.'

'I remember one time I had to take our son Eliot [ Morales' biological son ] to the emergency room and when Marilyn [ Morales ] showed up, they didn't want to let her in,' Diaz said. 'They didn't understand how our son could have two mothers. If we [ were ] allowed to legally marry, life would be so much more simple.'

As the forum concluded, Morten asked each individual to do three things: talk to family, friends, co-workers and religious leaders about the importance of equal protection of the law for all families; host a discussion about the importance of equality for LGBT families for members of one's religious group, business or social network; and contact elected representatives and ask them to support full equality for LGBT families.

Two comments from the floor summed up the views of those who attended the forum.

'Marriage gives a couple almost [ 1,200 ] privileges and we [ gay couples ] deserve every one of them, just like when we paid our taxes in full yesterday,' said Vernita Gray.

'I'm a queer granny with a 32-year-old son,' said Donna Rose. 'Things are changing; I know that given the challenges I faced raising my son in a same-sex household. Fear is the thing that stopped so many of us from completing the surveys from the Census Bureau. And this discussion we're having tonight is not about the romantic aspects of love and marriage. It's about our deserving rights and privileges. I'm glad that we have made this start in bringing together African Americans and Latinos to share our similar concerns. And it's fitting that we should be in a place like the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum.'


This article shared 5080 times since Mon May 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MOVIES Holiday comedy short centers on Muslim family and BIPOC queer relationship 2021-10-13
- The short film The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night follows Noor, a Muslim queer woman, and her experience with bringing her Puerto Rican partner home to meet her family for the first time. When Noor's ...


Gay News

Int'l Film Fest to premiere queer Muslim film directed by Chicagoan Fawzia Mirza 2021-10-05
--From a press release - LOS ANGELES CA - THE SYED FAMILY XMAS EVE GAME NIGHT will have its U.S. premiere at the 57th edition of the Chicago International Film Festival running October 13 - 24, 2021. This comes on the ...


Gay News

LGBTQ History Month: Until legal ruling, Disneyland banned same-sex dancers 2021-10-01
- Deemed the "Happiest Place on Earth," Disneyland sadly didn't live up to that billing for same-sex couples during its first three decades. Opened in 1955 by the late Walt Disney, the family-oriented amusement park was built ...


Gay News

Liz Cheney: 'I was wrong' to oppose same-sex marriage 2021-09-27
- U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney said—in a segment of the CBS show 60 Minutes that aired Sept. 26—she was "wrong" to oppose same-sex marriage when her objection to it caused a public split with her family, including ...


Gay News

PFLAG National mourns passing of past president Paulette Goodman 2021-08-16
--From a press release - WASHINGTON—PFLAGers everywhere mourn the death of Paulette Goodman, who served as PFLAG National President from 1988 until 1992. Goodman was born in a Jewish family, ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2021-08-02
- "If you are fortunate enough to be in a relationship with a supportive family, in a country or place where living openly is pretty safe, I really would recommend it because it will only benefit you ...


Gay News

The Actors Gymnasium to hold community circus, celebrate 25th year 2021-07-16
--From a press release - Evanston, IL, July 15, 2021 — Actors Gym is proud to announce Summer Salon 2021, an evening of circus under the stars in Tallmadge Park to celebrate the organization's 25th year. It will be a family-friendly ...


Gay News

Lambda Legal elects former State Senator Heather Steans to Board of Directors 2021-07-06
--From a press release - (New York) — Lambda Legal is pleased to announce it has elected Heather Steans to serve on its Board of Directors. Ms. Steans is a former Illinois State Senator and chairs the Steans Family Foundation board. ...


Gay News

Pritzker administration awards nearly $95M to equity-focused healthcare 2021-07-01
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — Governor JB Pritzker today announced $94.3 million will be awarded in the state's inaugural round of Healthcare Transformation Collaboratives funding. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services will ...


Gay News

adidas celebrates Illinois Olympic icon with Honoring Black Excellence Initiative 2021-06-22
- At a private engagement at The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation Headquarters, adidas and track-and-field icon Jackie Joyner-Kersee gathered friends and family for an intimate mural unveiling for the launch of the ...


Gay News

HIV at 40: Erie Family Health Center, focused on helping at-risk communities 2021-06-10
- HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects Black communities—with Black gay and bisexual Black men and Black trans women being the most affected population than any other group in the country. More specifically, one in two Black MSM (men who ...


Gay News

WORLD: Domestic violence, activist dies, Jerusalem Pride, Olympics 2021-06-06
- On May 28, the LGBTQ Domestic Violence Foundation launched its #SeenAndBelieved campaign to shine a light on the prevalence of DFV (domestic and family violence) in LGBTQ communities, aiming to break down the barriers to victims ...


Gay News

Family Acceptance Project has new Asian-language posters for families with LGBTQ kids 2021-05-19
--From a press release - San Francisco, CA, May 19, 2021 …… In conjunction with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University is releasing a series of 8 new ...


Gay News

WORLD Parenting news, Tonga activist, pension fight, drag personality 2021-05-09
- A Croatian court has ruled that same-sex partners can now adopt children, backing a same-sex couple in their five-year fight for the right to family life, Openly News reported. On April 21, Zagreb's Administrative Court ruled ...


Gay News

Simmons, family advocates argue for $600-per-child state tax credit before Senate committee 2021-05-08
--From a press release - SPRINGFIELD — Speaking alongside other advocates for Illinois children and families, Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) argued the necessity of his plan to institute a $600-per-child income tax credit at the state level before the ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
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      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      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.