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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



LETTERS Reflections

This article shared 3353 times since Wed Oct 1, 2014
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On Sept. 19, we gathered to celebrate the marriage of our youngest son. It wasn't what some would refer to as a "traditional wedding" because there were two grooms. Until the marriage bill passed, we didn't have the reassurance that the state would view it as a legal marriage. As soon as it passed, David and Charlie married the next morning in the judges chambers—the first male couple to marry in the state of Illinois. A celebration for family and friends was planned for September.

Not everyone who attended the wedding supported the bill. Some held religious views which were in conflict with it. Some were just unsure. But they all came together in unity to support David and Charlie, regardless of their own personal beliefs.

The room was overflowing with love as we walked Charlie down the aisle. When the unity candles were lit, everyone became silent. They strained to hear the couple vow to love and support one another for eternity. I was overwhelmed by the spirit of joy which seemed to envelop everyone. After the boys broke the wine glass, we shouted Mazel Tov. They kissed and walked down the aisle as husband and husband. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room.

The lesson here is that it is possible to separate your religious or political beliefs from infringing upon the rights of others. Even David's parents, devout Catholics, were present to support their son. It had been a long, difficult journey. The message of guilt and shame they'd received from their Church, caused them to endure feelings of great anxiety. The love they had for their son overcame it.

Many religious institutions send this message. They ignore the teachings of love and respect, inherent to the basic concepts of their faith. It is neither loving nor respectful to deny equal rights to those deemed less respectable than others by religious institutions. As the new pope has stated, it is not our role to judge.

That evening demonstrated that people from many different cultural and religious backgrounds can come together to embrace and support others, regardless of their own beliefs. The common denominator was love. After the ceremony, everyone shared a meal. Then the dance floor became a collage of swirling colors as they whirled around with increasing fervor. A conga line formed. Couples broke free to join hands with people they 'd never met before, to parade unified around the dance floor. It was beautiful!

Those who'd arrived with doubt, left smiling. For one lovely evening, they'd witnessed all judgement cast aside. The spirit of love prevailed. My dream to dance at the wedding of my son and his beloved had finally come true.

Joanne Bohman Gurion

Rolling Meadows

Bar none?

Dear Editor:

In my last letter to the editor I wrote about Chicago's gay ghetto, and how it is seems it is being dismantled before our eyes. I think vision is important in our community, as it is in any community, and I understand the diversity of opinions.

Perhaps one important pulse beat of our community was the livelihood of lesbian and gay bars on Halsted, which were the anchors of our community cultural, religious and political life, and reminded us to give back as we partied.

Bars such as The Closet on Broadway, and Halsted's Sidetrack, Little Jim's, The Lucky Horseshoe and Scarlet, just to name a few, gave us a vision of community that giving back is important, and opposing irresponsible drug use was just as important as was talking about sexual responsibility.

I am not sure what the answer is, but I think we need to talk about our dying bar life.

Joe Murray


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