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 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWS Beyond Marriage: Uniting for Change
by Andrea L. Zopp
2013-12-05

This article shared 4883 times since Thu Dec 5, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Last month Illinois became the 16th state to grant same-sex couples the right to marry when Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Act. This law not only gives same gender, loving couples a basic human right, but protects the freedoms of clergy and churches that do not condone same-sex marriage.

We applaud the Illinois General Assembly for taking this great step toward equality. We also acknowledge the bold leadership exhibited by members of the Legislative Black Caucus who, despite fierce opposition and threats of "political payback" from those opposed to this bill, stood on the right side of history and voted yes.

The Chicago Urban League was supported this legislation and served on the steering committee for the Illinois Unites for Marriage campaign along with the ACLU of Illinois, Citizen Action Illinois, Equality Illinois, the Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal and The Civil Rights Agenda. This coalition also brought in diverse community-based advocacy groups.

At the Chicago Urban League, we believe that supporting marriage equality was the right thing to do. In our 97 years, the Chicago Urban League has been fearless in the pursuit of educational, economic and social justice. We believe that all people deserve equal rights, including the right to marry the person they love.

Now that we've seen what a united coalition can do, there is an opportunity to work with our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) allies on other issues that impact communities of color. In a city where more than half of the population is comprised of non-white citizens, there has to be organized community action and engagement that leads to the creation of more opportunities for everyone, regardless of age, race, ability, educational background and sexual orientation. The question is: How do we get there?

According to Kim Hunt, executive director of Affinity Community Services, a group that has served Chicago's LGBT community for nearly 20 years, the answer is literally right in front of us. "Things that affect the broader Black community affect the LGBT community because we live next door to each other," Hunt recently shared. "We have never approached our work as a one issue agenda. It's always been intersectional."

Hunt says, and I agree, that the time is now for leaders in the Black community and those in the LGBT community to collaborate around intersectional issues. We all want better schools, more jobs, affordable housing, safe neighborhoods, business growth opportunities and access to affordable healthcare.

Working as partners, we can increase our advocacy to policymakers and key stakeholders to move the community forward. In order to do this, we must move past our misconceptions, biases, and even our fears, to find common ground among groups.

We can use our combined strength to reach out to leaders—both civic and elected—to advance a collective agenda for the underserved and disenfranchised.

One area we could coalesce around quickly is school funding. In 2008 the Chicago Urban League sued the State of Illinois and the Illinois Board of Education to have the flawed public school funding model declared unconstitutional and in violation of the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003. The lawsuit is still in play, and I hope that we can build a broader coalition that will advocate for educational funding change.

A unified coalition can also work to eradicate bullying in our schools and in our communities. Children who are bullied are deprived of the opportunity to learn and, in the most extreme cases, have been deprived of their very lives. We cannot afford to have another child hurt or lost because of mistreatment by their peers. Health and wellness is another area we can unite on. African Africans continue to be disproportionately impacted by heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. And we are the most impacted by HIV. Intersectional conversations around better access to healthcare and preventative services are essential to our survival. The Chicago Urban League stands ready to be a co-convener of this dialogue with our partners in the LGBT community.

Now that we've shown that a diverse, inclusive coalition can be built to deliver marriage equality to Illinois, we have a tremendous opportunity to strengthen that coalition and leverage it to eliminate the challenges and disparities that prevent the African American community and its LGBT members from living empowered and healthy lives. Working together, we can pack a powerful punch for equality and inclusion.

Andrea L. Zopp is president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League. This column originally appears in the Chicago Defender newspaper.


This article shared 4883 times since Thu Dec 5, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Zelensky, French position, UK drag-queen shows, triathlons
2022-08-07
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed he will ask Ukraine's government to look into legalizing same-sex marriage after the war with Russia ends, PinkNews reported. Ukraine's constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last ...


Gay News

Vallas speaks at event of group known for anti-LGBTQ+ views [UPDATE]
2022-08-01
Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and current mayoral candidate Paul Vallas spoke at a fundraiser for Awake Illinois—a group that has been criticized for its transphobic and homophobic rhetoric, The Chicago Reader reported. The group hosted ...


Gay News

Senate vote on marriage bill pushed back to September
2022-08-01
Hope for a quick vote on the Respect for Marriage Act in the U.S. Senate this week has faded, but U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin said over the weekend that she has 10 Republican senators willing to ...


Gay News

WORLD Cuban referendum, Gay Games, Berlin attacks, Indian trans men
2022-07-31
Cuba's parliament announced that the country will hold a referendum on the legalization of same-sex marriage and surrogate parenthood, Deutsche Welle reported. The referendum on the new family law is scheduled to be held Sunday, Sept. ...


Gay News

VIEWS Can gay men dial back sex until our monkeypox vaccinations?
2022-07-28
Years from now, there will be gay men who made it through a case of monkeypox who will have the scars up and down the shaft of their penis to prove it. Let me repeat that. Scars. On their cock. For ...


Gay News

Andorra passes civil marriage for same-sex couples
2022-07-22
On July 21, lawmakers in the tiny European country of Andorra voted unanimously to extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples, The Los Angeles Blade reported. Andorra is a small country known for its ski areas ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Now, they're gunning to take away our vote
2022-07-20
It took them 50 years to get the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe. It might take them only two years to get the court to take your vote from you. In addition to all the efforts to make voting difficult ...


Gay News

U.S. House passes Respect for Marriage Act
2022-07-19
On July 19, almost 50 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass legislation that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enshrine marriage equality into federal law, Axios reported. The legislation, approved 267-157, is part of ...


Gay News

Catholic hospital system denies fertility treatments for LGBTQ+ couples
2022-07-19
An Illinois-based Catholic hospital system that employs more than 24,000 people will only cover fertility treatments for workers in opposite-sex marriages—a policy some lawyers say could violate federal discrimination statutes ...


Gay News

Ted Cruz wants marriage equality revoked
2022-07-18
To the surprise of few, a leading Republican figure would like marriage equality overturned. On July 16, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the U.S. Supreme Court was "clearly wrong" and "overreaching" when it legalized same-sex ...


Gay News

WORLD Slovenia marriage item, Antigua and Barbuda, Berlin mosque
2022-07-10
In Slovenia, the Constitutional Court legalized same-sex marriage and adoptions after finding a law under which only heterosexual partners can marry and same-sex couples cannot adopt children to be in contravention of the constitutional ban on ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Nothing is more American than a 4th of July parade
2022-07-07
Nothing is more American than a 4th of July parade. And tragically, nothing is more American than a mass shooting with a high-powered rifle. Our hearts go out to the families of the seven victims of ...


Gay News

WORLD KyivPride, Romanian bill, marriage items, Cynthia Erivo
2022-07-03
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ+-rights event, KyivPride, went ahead as a peace march—in Warsaw, Poland, CNBC reported. It joined Warsaw's yearly Equality Parade, the largest such event in central Europe, using it as a platform to keep international ...


Gay News

VIEWS How same-sex couples can ensure parenting rights if Supreme Court reverses Obergefell
2022-06-30
By Jeffery M. Leving - After the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last week, many are now wondering if the court would go after same-sex marriage next. Justice Samuel Alito, in his majority decision, wrote that nothing in its ...


Gay News

Survey: Americans hold complex views on gender identity and trans+ Issues
2022-06-29
-- From a press release - WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 28, 2022) — As the United States addresses issues of transgender rights and the broader landscape around gender identity continues to shift, the American public holds a complex set of views around these ...


 



Copyright © 2022 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
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.