Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


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



by Karen Hawkins

This article shared 3203 times since Wed Feb 21, 2001
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

In a boisterous protest that demonstrators hoped would recall the bygone days of ACT UP, gay marriage supporters stormed the offices of the Cook County Marriage License Bureau on Valentine's Day, with actions that landed two demonstrators in jail.

"The ban on gay marriage is a denial of our basic civil rights," said Andy Thayer, co-founder of the protest's lead organizer, the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network. "People should be outraged about this. People should be insulted that this is going on."

Chanting "Gay marriage is our right/We've only just begun to fight," an estimated 75 protesters lapped the lobby of the County Building, drawing confused looks from bystanders, many of whom were forced to move aside as demonstrators walked by.

There was not much visible support from onlookers, and one man stood holding his nose and giving a thumbs-down to the demonstration as it passed by him.

Flanked by a contingent of sheriff's deputies, protesters noisily made their way to the license bureau, where a long line of male-female couples-;some in tuxedos and veils-;stood in line to get the paperwork they'd need to get married.

Marc Loveless of the Illinois Green Party told the couples, "We don't want to ruin your day ... . We just want the integrity of our lives preserved. It's about the integrity of your lives, too."

Once downstairs, three same-sex couples approached the bureau's counter to get marriage licenses, and were each told the same thing by office manager Tim Dever and clerk Rosa NegrĂ"n: "We would like to issue a license, but unfortunately we cannot," Dever said. "We are governed by state law, which prohibits same-sex marriage. I agree that you should be able to marry anyone you want to. Contact your state representative and ask them to amend the state law so you can be married in Illinois. Then we would be happy to issue you a license."

In the day's most dramatic moments, Thayer and Michael Maltenfort, after being turned down by a clerk, attempted to lock and chain the doors to the clerk's office with a long metal chain and padlock.

Thayer said before the protest that the plan was to lock the doors and post a sign saying, "This office closed until all treated equally."

The pair were quickly overpowered by four sheriff's deputies stationed outside the doors, however, and within seconds they were pushed against a wall and handcuffed.

The scuffle drew a strong reaction from protesters outside the office, who immediately began chanting "No violence, no violence!" and loudly chastising the police.

"This goes to show you what kind of world we live in," said Chris Lariviere, one of the men who attempted to get a license.

Ever defiant, Thayer and Maltenfort kept chanting-;"Marriage for some, marriage for all"-;as they stood handcuffed and closely guarded by two deputies.

During the diversion, a second group of protesters was able to chain a set of exit doors located across the office from the entrance. That lock remained several minutes after Thayer and Maltenfort had been lead away.

The pair were held overnight at the Cook County Jail facility in Maywood, and were released on $3,000 bond apiece late Thursday night after spending the day at 26th and California.

They were charged with felony criminal damage to government-supported property and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. According to a CABN release, the felony charge carries a maximum penalty of one to three years in prison, up to 30 months probation or a $25,000 fine.

In a letter to media outlets, Thayer and Maltenfort called the felony "a 'junk charge' designed to intimidate us and place an extra financial burden on our defense."

"They alleged that we broke a door stop," Thayer said late last week of the felony charge. "They were quite fixated on the condition of the door."

Thayer said he and Maltenfort, who were consistently separated from other inmates, had a certain level of celebrity status at the jail.

"A lot of people knew us down there," he said. "Word got around as to who we were. People had seen us on the evening news."

The pair have a status hearing scheduled for this Wednesday, Feb. 21.

Other organizations involved in Wednesday's protest included: Equality Illinois, the Green Party, Men of All Colors Together, News & Letters, the Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association and Sangat.

LETTER issued

In a letter to GLBT media, Thayer and Maltenfort said the message behind Wednesday's protest was that, "the various attacks on same-sex marriage are assaults on ALL Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgendered people, as the right wing is using same-sex marriage as a 'wedge issue' to attack ALL of our rights."

"The ban is government-sanctioned second-class citizenship to all same-sex couples, and those narrow-minded clergy who support the ban are promoting bigotry, pure and simple," they said.

The pair appealed to the public to help with their legal costs: "We appeal to your readers to help defend us against the ridiculous felony charges by contributing to our legal defense fund. Please make checks payable to the 'Chicago Anti-Bashing Network' and put in the memo section 'Gay Marriage Legal Defense Fund,' and mail them to CABN, 4404 N. Magnolia, #420, Chicago, Il, 60640. If there are any funds received in excess of those used for our legal defense, they will be used to defray the cost of the demonstration itself."

This article shared 3203 times since Wed Feb 21, 2001
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

WORLD Japan politics, video games, lesbian tennis player, Mr. Gay World 2021-10-10
- LGBTQ+-rights activists were hoping Japan would finally allow same-sex marriage if Taro Kono, who has publicly supported same-sex marriage, became the country's next prime minister—but their hopes were dashed. Japan's ...

Gay News

"I can't be silent": Michael O'Connor discusses his longtime activism 2021-10-04
By Kayleigh Padar - Years ago, longtime activist Michael O'Connor heard that some Black legislators in Illinois didn't want to support the Marriage Equality Act because they didn't believe Black people would benefit from same-sex marriage. He decided to prove ...

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

Nearly two-thirds of Swiss residents vote for marriage equality 2021-09-26
- Almost two-thirds of Switzerland's voters backed the government's plan to introduce same-sex marriage in a referendum held Sept. 26, with campaigners calling it a historic day for gay rights in Switzerland, Yahoo! News reported, citing AFP. ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Danica Roem, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' abortion appeal, Lambda Legal 2021-09-26
- Transgender Virginia legislator Danica Roem is facing a conservative marriage-equality opponent and former Trump administration member in her re-election race this November, Yahoo! News noted. Roem, a Democrat, was elected to the House of Delegates in ...

Gay News

WORLD Marches, world leaders, Swiss marriage, soccer match 2021-09-26
- Thousands of people including soldiers and diplomats marched peacefully through the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv in an annual Pride parade despite some opposition to an event called off last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters ...

Gay News

[UPDATE] Lisle school offers job to lacrosse coach in same-sex marriage 2021-09-21
- The administration at Lisle’s Benet Academy, a west suburban Catholic school, has reversed course and offered a job to a woman in a same-sex marriage after initially rescinding the offer, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...

Gay News

Pope again refuses to bless same-sex marriages 2021-09-18
- Pope Francis told reporters recently on a return flight from Hungary that the Catholic Church is unable to bless same-sex marriages because marriage is a divine sacrament between a man and a woman, per The Advocate. ...

Gay News

Polis marriage marks first same-sex wedding of sitting governor 2021-09-17
- On Sept. 15, Colorado Democratic Gov. Jared Polis wed longtime partner Marlon Reis—marking the first same-sex marriage of a sitting U.S. governor, NPR reported. Polis keeps making history. In 2018, Polis became the first openly gay ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate two Illinois marriage certificate modernization bills 2021-07-27
--From a press release - Trans and non-binary people who were married in Illinois will now be able to obtain marriage certificates that reflect their authentic selves thanks to legislation signed today by Governor JB Pritzker, according to Equality Illinois and ...

Gay News

WORLD Marriage in Chile, Polish website, Toronto news, 'Reclaim Pride' march 2021-07-25
- On July 21, Chile's Senate approved an equal-marriage bill, reported. The regulations were presented during the second government of the socialist Michelle Bachelet (2014-2018) and last June 1, during ...

Gay News

LGBTQ advocates celebrate passage of Illinois marriage certificate name change legislation 2021-05-28
--From a press release - LGBTQ advocates are celebrating passage of state legislation that will provide certainty for individuals requesting that their Illinois marriage certificates reflect a legal name change. HB 2590 is an initiative of Equality Illinois and Chicago House ...

Gay News

LGBT-inclusive marriage-certificate act passes state General Assembly 2021-05-21
--From a press release - May 21. 2021 - In an effort to modernize marriage certificates in Illinois, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz and state Rep. Ann Williams helped pass The Marriage Certificate Modernization Act through the Illinois General Assembly. The legislation ...

Gay News

Starting May 3, ceremonies in Cook County's downtown Marriage Court can be performed by Zoom 2021-04-30
- CHICAGO (April 30) — Marriage and civil union ceremonies at Cook County's downtown Marriage and Civil Union Court (Marriage Court) may be performed via Zoom videoconference, as well as in person, starting next week, according to ...

Gay News

Illinois Senate passes proposal removing gendered language from marriage certificates 2021-04-21
--From a press release - On April 21, on its third reading, the Illinois Senate passed (by a bipartisan vote of 44-13) a proposal that amends the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act to allow the removal of gendered language ...


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.






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.