Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


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



Darby v. Orr lawyers, plaintiff talk same-sex marriage
by Erica Demarest, Windy City Times

This article shared 3804 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Citywide Pride continued its streak of free events June 19 with "The Case for Marriage Equality in Illinois," a panel discussion that focused on the Darby v. Orr lawsuit.

Lambda Legal filed Darby v. Orr in May 2012 on behalf of 16 same-sex couples that want the right to marry in Illinois. The suit has since stalled in a Cook County circuit court.

"When it comes to same-sex marriage, there are two paths to victory," said Christopher Clark, a Lambda Legal senior attorney who's handling Darby v. Orr. "You can either win through the courts—which is what we're trying to do—or you can convince a legislature."

Mercedes Santos and Theresa Volpe, who make up one of the 16 couples, spoke at the free event, which was held in the law offices of Hinshaw & Culbertson, 222 N. LaSalle St.

"Our kids are our driving force," Volpe said when asked why the longtime couple joined the lawsuit. Volpe is currently pregnant with the couple's third child.

"When you have these little kids looking in your face, and you have to say to them: Your family is treated differently than your friend's or your cousin's. … It's hard to explain that to them and make it be okay," Volpe said.

Santos and Volpe, who have a civil union, shared a story about trying to procure a marriage license. While they were in Skokie, Ill., one day, the couple stopped by a county clerk's office.

An employee kindly explained to Santos and Volpe that they didn't want a marriage license. It was a civil union they were after.

"We told her we already had a civil union," Santos said. "We wanted to get married. [The woman] basically said, 'We don't have a form for that… Our computer doesn't do that.'"

The employee then turned to a co-worker and said that Santos and Volpe wanted a marriage license. This co-worker, too, pointed the women toward a civil union.

"[The first woman] said, 'No, they already have a civil union. They want an upgrade,'" Santos said. "She had admitted right there that what we got was a downgraded version."

Santos and Volpe left the county clerk's office without a marriage license and have since lobbied for marriage equality in Springfield. The process can be daunting, they said.

"I want to put the image in your head of traveling down to Springfield with your family and meeting with a political lobbyist who grabs your hand and opens the door and says, 'There's Hostile Legislator No. 1. Go to it,'" Clark said.

Santos and Volpe said they find the process worthwhile because the women want to show their children that they can accomplish anything "if you use your voice."

Clark explained that Darby v. Orr is based on two legal theories.

"The gist of the complaints is that by denying same-sex couples the right to marry, the state is infringing on a fundamental right to marry, which is a violation of the due process law," Clark said.

"The second set of legal arguments is that there's an equal protection problem here, which is that by denying same-sex couples the right to marry, you are discriminating against them on the basis of both their sex and their sexual orientation."

Clark said he was hopeful the Illinois General Assembly would pass marriage equality in the near future—making his lawsuit obsolete. Lawsuits can take years, he said, and he'd rather see a swift victory.

"The Supreme Court generally doesn't jump ahead of society on issues," Clark said about the high court that could eventually hear his case. "They tend to drag behind and do clean up afterwards."

The panel was co-sponsored by the LGBT Affinity Group of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP and Robert W. Baird & Co. William Lopez, an attorney at Hinshaw, moderated.

Citywide Pride, now in its 12th year, is a series of presentations and networking events hosted by the Out & Equal Chicagoland Leadership Council.

This article shared 3804 times since Tue Jun 25, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


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 ...

Gay News

Pope: Trans people can be baptized and act as godparents 2023-11-09
- Pope Francis has stated that trans people may be baptized and act as godparents or witnesses to marriage under the same conditions as any other adult—as long as a scandal does not result, according to PinkNews. ...

Gay News

Jamaica court upholds sodomy law; activist ends fight in that country 2023-11-01
- On Oct. 27, the Jamaica Supreme Court upheld the country's anti-sodomy law, claiming that only Parliament could repeal the statute—and the ruling has resulted in a longtime advocate/attorney ending his fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the ...

Gay News

Several dozen people arrested over 'gay wedding' in Nigeria 2023-10-25
- Nigerian security personnel arrested more than 70 young people after accusing them of organizing a same-sex wedding, The South China Morning Post reported. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Nigeria under a 2014 law. Gombe, where the ...


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.