Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Marriage advocates talk final push on bill
by Kate Sosin, Windy City Times

This article shared 3792 times since Thu May 23, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Two-hundred phone banks, 500 volunteers, over 12,000 post cards and more than 70,000 emails. That is what has gone into passing Illinois' equal marriage bill this far, according to advocates.

LGBT groups revealed some of their behind-the-scenes efforts to pass equal marriage at a community meeting May 22.Those efforts have included massive phone banks, outreach to political funders and an intense social media campaign, they said.

The meeting came just days before an expected final vote on equal marriage, which advocates have predicted will pass by month's end.

The Wednesday meeting, held at the Chicago Urban League, drew approximately 35 people.

Organizers shared that they had facilitated several lobby days, operated phone banks almost daily and worked closely with faith leaders throughout the state to build support for the bill.

Karen Sheley, attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, noted that the Illinois Unites for Marriage coalition had used social media extensively to promote its message. She also explained that the coalition had pushed for editorials in favor of the bill; an effort that let to endorsements for equal marriage from major papers throughout the state.

Caroline Staerk, field director at Equality Illinois, detailed thousands of calls, post cards emails and other grassroots efforts to build support for equal marriage among Illinois voters.

Jim Bennett, Midwest regional director for Lambda Legal, reiterated his comments earlier in the week that the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness act, which would legalize same-sex marriage, has the support it needs to pass by the end of session.

"We are as certain as we can possibly be that this will pass by May 31," he said.

Lindsey Clark, phone bank administrator for the Illinois Unites for Marriage Coalition, said that the tone of phone bank calls has shifted in recent weeks. An increasing number of people against equal marriage have expressed hesitation, Clark said.

"We ask [on the calls], 'Do you support same-sex marriage?'" said Clark. "One of my favorite responses is, 'I'm so sorry, I don't.'"

Bennett pointed to another shift. The conversation in Illinois about equal marriage started with a message about benefits. Now, he said, the message is about love.

"Our messaging is so simple," he said. "A person should be able to marry the person they love. The other side has not found a way to counteract that."

That's a message that has translated over to competing marriage demonstrations, Clark said. Anti-gays have largely outnumbered pro-LGBT protesters at a series of rallies held over the last month to pressure undecided lawmakers. But, Clark said, the difference between those opposed to the bill and those backing it has been the vibe, with pro-LGBT demonstrators sending a message of love.

But some attendees also questioned if messages coming from LGBT groups adequately represented communities of color, after reports suggested that Black lawmakers said that equal marriage had been presented as a white issue.

Roderick K. Hawkins, vice president of external affairs for Chicago Urban League, has done outreach to the Black Caucus on the marriage issue. He reported that Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus and others have been working to make sure that Black lawmakers and Black voters hear from Black LGBT people who support the bill.

Bennett added that The Civil Rights Agenda has also done significant work with Latino representatives and constituents on the marriage issue.

But, Bennett said, some of that work will remain under wraps until the bill passes.

Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Community Services, also raised the question of future organizing from groups. She asked what would happen to LGBT organizations after the bill passed.

Bennett said that Lambda Legal had already drafted fact sheets on the proposed law and would be working to educate community members should to the bill pass.

Finally, attendees asked if they would have warning before the bill was called as many want to travel to Springfield for the final vote. Bennett said he wants to give LGBTQ community members the opportunity to see the vote, and that if groups have enough notice, they will work to let the community know and to arrange transportation for some.

This article shared 3792 times since Thu May 23, 2013
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

Knudsen looks ahead to April 4 runoff election
The following is part of Windy City Times' coverage of openly LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal election. Ald. Timmy Knudsen narrowly came in first in the Feb. 28 general election, and is facing Brian Comer ...

Gay News

Quigley, Torres, Sorensen lead letter to FDA on updated blood donation guidance
--From a press release - Washington, DC - Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), Ritchie Torres (NY-15), and Eric Sorensen (IL-17) led 23 members in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration ...

Gay News

Kentucky legislators override governor's veto to push anti-trans youth bill
On March 29, Republican lawmakers in Kentucky overturned Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of a bill to ban transgender youths from gender-affirming healthcare and restrict which toilets they use in public schools, media outlets reported. Both ...

Gay News

Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson visits Sidetrack
Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson headlined a fundraiser for his campaign at Sidetrack Video Bar on March 25. The standing room only event drew a wide array of LGBTQ activists and community leaders, as well as supporters ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023: Rep. Lamont Robinson discusses LGBTQ+ issues and his plans for the 4th Ward
The following is part of Windy City Times' series of interviews with LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 Chicago municipal elections. Among the 14 aldermanic races to be decided in the runoff election on April 4, Illinois ...

Gay News

Biden appoints Laura Ricketts to Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition
President Joe Biden has appointed Laura Ricketts—the lesbian co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, board chair of Chicago Cubs Charities and board chair of LPAC, which works to elect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer women and ...

Gay News

Michaela Jae Rodriguez honored at HRC dinner
On March 25, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) hosted its Los Angeles dinner at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE—and honored Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated trans actress Michaela Jae Rodriguez, per a press release. Human ...

Gay News

ALA: 2022 saw record demand of censorship of library books
On March 22, the American Library Association (ALA) released new data documenting 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022—the highest number of attempted book bans since the ALA began compiling data about censorship ...

Gay News

NATIONAL 'Don't Say Gay,' anti-trans bills, gay Irish leader visits, gay Calif. mayor
In Indiana, approximately 100 students from the Center For Inquiry School 27 held a walk-out to protest the state's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which would restrict how teachers are able to discuss sexual orientation or gender ...

Gay News

Baldwin leads 22 colleagues in calling on FDA to end discriminatory blood donation policy
--From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has headed up a group of 22 colleagues in sending a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf expressing support for the agency's ...

Gay News

Mayoral candidate forum centers BIPOC LGBTQ+ issues, Vallas declines to participate
Chicago mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson participated in a March 22 virtual LGBTQ+-focused forum co-hosted by Affinity Community Services (Affinity), Association of Latinos/as/xs Motivating Action (ALMA) Chicago ...

Gay News

Utah bans conversion therapy
On March 22, Republican Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill that bans licensed professionals from practicing conversion therapy—the discredited practice that attempts to turn LGBTQ+ people heterosexual—on minors, Q ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson discusses religion, LGBTQ+ issues, holistic approach
Chicago mayoral candidates Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas seem to have little in common. Johnson, a Cook County commissioner, has embraced a more progressive platform that employs everything from a more holistic approach to crime to ...

Gay News

More than thirty-five LGBTQ+ leaders endorse Brandon Johnson for mayor of Chicago
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — More than thirty-five LGBTQ+ community leaders are united in their support for Brandon Johnson for Mayor in Chicago's runoff election, representing the city's business, philanthropic, academic, civic ...

Gay News

N.Y. attorney general hosts Drag Story Hour
On March 19, New York Attorney General Letitia James—along with a coalition of advocacy organizations and elected leaders—hosted a first-of-its-kind Drag Story Hour Read-A-Thon for families in New York City, per a press release from her ...


Copyright © 2023 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
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.