Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



VIEWS Why we march
by Tracy Baim, Windy City Times

This article shared 3101 times since Tue Sep 24, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

After the non-vote in May on the state's marriage-equality bill, Illinois activists, leaders and politicians had a myriad of responses to what happened and why. I wrote an editorial calling for accountability of our elected political leadership, and soon after called for a March on Springfield for Marriage Equality.

One reason for doing so was that there were so few visible protests and actions last spring. Yes, there were lobbying and fundraising, but when it came time to protest, there were very few who actually showed up time and again to either show support for a pro-equality politician, or counter the anti-gays. Gay Liberation Network is a stalwart when it comes to showing up, but few of the hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ Illinois citizens "showed up" for their rights in public. Perhaps we need a better strategy.

There has never been an LGBT March on Springfield for our rights. There have been lobby days, for sure, going back to the 1970s. There are pride events in Springfield, which has a wonderful LGBT and allied community. But there has never been a statewide march on the legislature to push for our rights. It is about time we show up and show our unity across all our differences, including with our partners in equality from labor unions, racial and gender justice groups, businesses, non-profits, culture groups and more.

Our march on Springfield team is small and mighty—13 of us are volunteer co-chairs, and our entire budget is under $40,000. It's almost all for promotional posters and other materials, and then expenses associated with the actual march (non-sexy things such as stage, sound, permits, insurance, signs and security). But how amazing it has been working with activists across the state, and even into neighboring states, who are excited about being in Springfield Tuesday, Oct. 22, for the first scheduled day of the fall veto session.

This march is not about the politicians, although they are welcome to attend. It is about the people. It is to demonstrate that we will show up for our rights, and we will hold elected officials accountable. It is to show LGBTs and allies across the state that we know their work is critical to this movement—that it is not always about Chicago. And it is to show how diverse our community is, different in our background, our race, our gender, our age, our class, our religion (or non-religion), our taste in music and our taste in clothes. We are truly a motley rainbow crew, but at times like this we can work together to build a stronger community.

I have been to six marches on Washington—four about LGBT rights, one for women's rights, and the recent 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs & Justice. Each of them impacted me in their own way, no matter what the actual issues of the day.

What these marches do is re-energize us for the battles ahead—because marriage is not the final stop for our movement. Far from it. Yes, it is an important economic justice issue, one that effects those who are poor and working class perhaps more than those who can protect their assets through legal maneuvers. Marriage is one more step on the ladder, one that will have dramatic effects on other issues, and change the way many families see their LGBT children.

But it is just one step up, and we have much further to go. Because LGBT youth and seniors still need resources and support; because people with HIV and AIDS are still without a cure; because healthcare disparities effect millions of LGBTs; because homelessness and joblessness are very real for everyday LGBTs; and because we all know that internalized and familial homophobia still are all pervasive, no matter how many openly LGBT people show their face on TV every day.

Illinois is a strange state. Our politicians have created an economic disaster by bad investments. They are trying to burn labor unions and hurt retirees. We have a mess of a school system, and some portions of our city have murder statistics rivaling a war zone. So it is understandable that marriage is far from a top priority for many of our state's citizens. I understand that. It is not one of my top social justice priorities, either. But I am working hard for this March on Springfield because I see this event as part of a much larger picture, one that can unite us with other communities, beyond just one issue that brings us together for that one day.

If this coalition proves successful, and we do ultimately achieve marriage equality, we will owe a huge debt of gratitude to many other communities. It will be our chance to more fully engage with diverse allies in the struggle for equality, and perhaps create a much stronger overall movement for justice.

Why do we march? We march to be together, to laugh and to cry, to show our face for equality. We show up to demand a vote so we know who is with us, and who is against us. Please, won't you join us—by train, plane, automobile, motorcycle, bicycle or bus—for one day. Show up, one day, for the rest of your life.

March on Springfield for Marriage Equality details

Tuesday, Oct. 22

Illinois State Capitol

401 S. 2nd Street

Springfield, Ill.

Noon-1 p.m.: Entertainment

1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.: Rally

March around Capitol: 2:30-3:30 p.m.

There will be dozens of speakers from a variety of backgrounds announced soon. Thus far the confirmed entertainment includes:

Steve Grand


Sami Grisafe

CC Carter

Marcus Terell

Stephen Leonard


Sandra Antongiogi

Also, there will be members of area LGBT choruses are also being confirmed for performances, plus other entertainment, MCs and speakers.

Deaf Communication by Innovation is providing interpreters for the hard of hearing.

For details see



This article shared 3101 times since Tue Sep 24, 2013
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

Bring Chicago Home: Guess who's saying no again
Commentary by Bob Palmer and Mark Swartz - Chicago is ushering in an era of change with a new progressive mayor with a vision to invest in communities long ignored and a significant increase in like-minded city council members. We are excited to see ...

Gay News

LGBTQ+ couple the first in South Asia to have marriage recognized
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

Pope Francis's community of transwomen
It's a rare opportunity to meet the pope. It's even rarer if you're a transgender Catholic. However, on Nov. 19, in Torvaianica, Italy, a community of transwomen, many of them sex workers, were welcomed and seated ...

Gay News

WORLD Thai marriage law, French bill, Miss Universe, IKEA, activist dies
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
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
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

Banning the Banning of Books: Illinois and California lead the way
In June, at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation banning book bans in Illinois public libraries. This legislation, initiated by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, passed the Illinois House and ...

Gay News

Several dozen people arrested over 'gay wedding' in Nigeria
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 ...

Gay News

Community marks 10th anniversary of marriage-equality march
Community members, activists and politicians gathered at Sidetrack Video Bar to mark the 10th anniversary of the 2013 March on Springfield for Marriage Equality Oct. 22. Celebrants also marked the passage of the marriage-equality bill (SB10), ...

Gay News

OPINION Renewing state's Invest in Kids program is investing in anti-LGBTQ+ hate
In February 2020, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield warned transgender students in the Diocese's educational system that they "may be expelled from the school" if they live their lives authentically. Lansing Christian School ...

Gay News

Celebrating March on Springfield for Marriage Equality's 10th anniversary Oct. 22
--From a press release - Advocates will mark 10 years since the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2023 at Sidetrack bar, 3349 N. Halsted, Chicago, from 1-3 p.m. There will be speakers and memorabilia and posters ...

Gay News

Plaques honoring MLB's Burke and marriage-equality added to Legacy Walk
On the afternoon of Oct. 14, the Legacy Walk dedicated two new plaques, acknowledging both a prominent gay sports figure and the celebration for a historic milestone for Illinois. This year's additions honored gay Major League ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Shucked,' Melissa Etheridge, 'Elite,' composer dies, Orville Peck
The Broadway production Shucked has set a closing date of Jan. 14, 2024 at the Nederlander Theatre, Playbill noted. At closing, the Tony-nominated musical will have played 28 previews and 327 regular performances. A North American ...

Gay News

India's supreme court declines to recognize marriage equality
India's top court, led by Chief Justice Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, declined to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriages, saying it is beyond its scope and should be decided by parliament, The Guardian reported. However, the court ...

Gay News

Legacy Project to host Legacy Walk Outdoor LGBTQ+ History Museum Phase XI dedication Oct. 14
--From a press release - On Oct. 14, 2023 the Legacy Project will host the 11th Anniversary Dedication of Chicago's Legacy Walk Outdoor LGBTQ History Museum. This year's inductees include The Road to Marriage Equality: The Supreme Court Decision that Rocked ...


Copyright © 2023 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.