1,000 WORDS

Chicagans Celebrate their Right to Get Not-Married

With so many disappointments on the road to marriage equality in the US, there are occasional moments of joy we can’t help but get swept up in. Yesterday was the first day that same-sex couples across Illinois were able to have a partnership service officiated, after receiving their civil union licence the day earlier. So to celebrate, around thirty gay couples participated in a mass ceremony in Chicago’s Millenium Park.

And while we can (and do) gripe that the law still does not go far enough to grant couples the full legal marriage rights they deserve, a look at the outpouring of love from yesterday’s event is proof that there are plenty of reasons to celebrate even before we reach the finish line.

“A lot of happy couples” Photo by Chicago Man

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  • hyhybt

    Yay, Illinois!

    Say what you like, Rhode Island people, but “second class” is a far sight better than nothing!

  • Fountouki

    Entering into a civil union is like affirming your own inferiority. You actively participate in your own discrimination.

  • Gigi Gee

    @Fountouki: Yes and no. There’s a reason that NOM and others don’t want us to have civil unions because, as they would put it, it’s a “slippery slope” to allowing us to have full-blown marriage. In Canada where I live, a few years before we got marriage equality, the federal government sent out a notice with our income tax notice that unmarried people living together as a couple, gay or straight, had to claim as common=law. Funny thing is, my partner and I were scared to do this. Admitting it to friends and family is one thing…but to the government? In the end we did it. We claimed as common-law. In doing so, even the few of us who did this, it was deemed that since we were claiming as a couple we should have the same rights as heterosexual couples. Marriage equality was legalized in 2005. And contrary to NOM’s doom and gloom predictions, not much has changed. We do get a LOT more queer Americans coming up to get married though!

  • ewe

    Those pics give me goosebumps and make me feel good all over. Having said that i think we need to sue the hell out of a lot of heterosexuals that verbally insult and continue to harass us.

  • manfred

    “Chicagoans” not Chicagans, but anyway, it seems your illiterate minion couldn’t resist a nasty dig at these happy couples and their special day. Go back to the drawingboard, I’m sure you can come up with another story that will be used for propaganda purposes nationwide by our enemies. Apparently, that is only thing this rag knows how to do.

  • Jeffree

    @Fountouki: By your logic, we’re sinning against all things pure, good, moral & shiney when we sign up for legal protections to visit our dying partners in the hospital.

    Yes, of course, letting our mates die alone makes such a grand & noble political statement, so much so that it’s worthwhile knowing other LGBTs will applaud our selflessness & drop by with warm stringbean/mushroom casseroles to comfort us in our hour of need.

    Please think before you opine. Sometimes it’s good to write down your thoughts, hit the delete button & realize you’ve just done the smartest thing possible.

  • Fountouki

    @Jeffree: Hey, I’m not saying you shouldn’t take advantage of civil unions. My suggestion is that same-sex couples get married properly in a country or state where it’s legal. When they come back home, they can have their marriage downgraded. This way, you’ve killed two birds with one stone. You’ve made a political statement without foregoing any benefits.

    Don’t complain about my English unless your German is better.

  • Jeffree

    @Fountouki: I apologize for mistaking you for one of the people who suggest that LGBs entering civil unions is a form of being co-opted. Those folks are all over the place here.

    I agree that the ideal is still marriage equality.

    I’m personally not ready for a marriage or civil union yet . Maybe in a few years.

    There’s nothing wrong with your English that I could detect.

    Since you’re German (or Austrian or Swiss) you might have missed the snide reference to the casserole. In my region, when someone dies the neighbors will bring food over to the house. And it’s usually awful, sad to say. The neighbors’ intentions are good, though.


  • Fountouki

    @Jeffree: Apology accepted.

    I’ve understood your comment about the casseroles. I’ve seen this “food bringing custom” in several US films and sitcoms. So, people actually do that!? In Germany, people only send or give you sympathy cards and money after a family member dies.

    What I don’t understand is this remark of yours: “[…] LGBs entering civil unions is a form of being co-opted.” Perhaps you could rephrase it without using the word “co-opted”.

    In Germany, we have had registered partnerships since 2001. The problem here is that German mainstream media often refer to registered partnerships as “marriage”, “gay marriage” or even “same-sex marriage”. A few examples: Within the last two years, I’ve watched several documentaries that claimed that we already have same-sex marriage in Germany. Last year, when our foreign minister entered into a registered partnership, German newspapers headlined stuff like “Westerwelle in marital bliss” and referred to his registered partner as husband. Of course, straight people who read or hear such things falsely assume that everything is fine legally. This misinformation can cause tensions between straights and gays. The hets think, “Oh, why are these gay people still so grumpy and demand more rights? They are already equal. What else do they want? Don’t they ever get enough? Gays are such attention whores.” And gay people think, “These straights are so ignorant. They have no idea what’s going on in the world and only care about themselves.” I really don’t know why German mainstream media feel the need to sugarcoat reality. I only know that you don’t achieve equality by pretending that it already exists. That’s one of the reasons why I dislike registered partnerships so much and why I consider them rather counterproductive, but of course they are better than nothing.

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