After a historic vote legalizing civil unions this week, Mayor Daley on Thursday welcomed the Illinois General Assembly into “this new century” and urged lawmakers to “move faster” — and legalize gay marriage.
“Finally, they realized they should have the same rights under state law. But eventually, [gay] marriage will take place. It has to. . . . We have to move faster,” the mayor said.
Texas KLIF radio host Chris Krok apologizes for attacks on Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns: "When there’s something sensitive about people [their experience with bullying, thoughts about/attempts at suicide, etc.], that’s where you need to have sensitivity and for that [lack of sensitivity] I apologize…A gay person is worth no more or no less than I am. God loves gay folks just as much as he loves me."
David Mixner looks ahead to the 2012 Presidential election: "You think Sarah is bad on LGBT issues? Listen to where the former Governor comes down on our issues…This man is a charmer like Reagan but he is more dangerous than Palin or Gingrich. We should not be diverted from this Good Ol' Boy simply because Sarah is showing us some grizzlies. She is a lightweight. Huckabee is the real bear."
Student body president at Fort Lewis College in Durango resigns and is arrested by police for false reporting: "[Alray] Nelson, who is openly gay and Navajo, reported several bias-motivated threats against him, including notes left on his car, harassing text messages sent to his cell phone and harassing e-mails."
"Sexual Orientation" removed from UN resolution on Extrajudicial Executions: "The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and ARC International issued a press release today exprssing deep disappointment with yesterday’s vote in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The resolution urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling on states to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past 10 years, the resolution has included sexual orientation in the list of discriminatory grounds on which killings are often based."
Contributed by John K. Barry, HRC Director in Chicago
Yesterday, I was thrilled to see the Chicago Sun Times discuss the very real possibility of civil unions moving forward in Illinois this year. The paper’s editorial board strongly voiced their support for the legislation, while noting that civil unions are not the equivalent of marriage.
A civil union bill for same-sex couples will likely face a vote during the state Legislature’s brief veto session that begins on Tuesday. It’s time, finally, to pass a bill that opens the door to equal treatment for our gay neighbors and friends. This page has long supported gay marriage as the best and most just option for same-sex couples in Illinois, but state legislators are not ready.
In the meantime, the civil union bill will do, offering much needed relief to same-sex couples. The civil union bill would give same-sex couples many of the same benefits available to married couples, including the right to visit a partner in the hospital, to inherit a partner’s estate and to make medical decisions for a sick partner…. A civil union law, though, would be an important start, potentially putting Illinois on the path to gay marriage.
The editorial board hit the nail on the head. Civil unions provide real benefits now and brings Illinois a step closer to marriage equality. HRC is proud to be a part of a broad coalition that is working for the passage of this bill. The coalition is being led by State Representative Greg Harris, primary sponsor of the bill.
We are somewhat alarmed and somewhat disturbed," said Lilli Kornblum, co-president of Or Chadash, a North Side congregation of about 100 members. Or Chadash shares space with Emanuel Congregation at a synagogue on North Sheridan Road. Emanuel's rabbi said Saturday that he had been informed that more than two synagogues were targeted.
Rabbi Michael Zedek said he was told by a person of "considerable importance and reliability in the larger and Jewish community that there were four synagogues targeted, not two."
"He wanted to be assured that our security plan was in place," Zedek said of his source. "He told me, 'I've got good news and I've got bad news. The good news is Emanuel Congregation was not part of the four. The bad news is Or Chadash is.'"
Most peculiarly, the synagogue's website had recently been visited a number of times by someone from Egypt. Said Zede: "What I was told this morning by the person who keeps our website current is that when she was checking to see how many hits we'd been getting recently, and this is before what occurred on Friday, to her surprise we had 83 hits from an address in Cairo, Egypt. It does assume a greater interest in light of what happened.''
One of the bombs sent from Yemen aboard passenger and cargo planes was destined for Chicago's Or Chadash, a gay synagogue that's an affiliate (and shares space with) the larger Emanuel Congregation. Despite the increased threat, Or Chadash' shabbat services went ahead as planned.
Please THANK “Kinetic Playground” Nightclub for Doing the Right Thing!
CHICAGO — Through a series of negotiations this week and last and with the threat of a demonstration, Gay Liberation Network (GLN) and other community activists were successful in persuading management at Kinetic Playground nightclub, 1113 W. Lawrence Avenue, to cancel “Kill Gays” dancehall performer Capleton for a show originally scheduled for late this Saturday night, October 9th.
In human rights circles, Capleton's Jamaica has one of the worst reputations for anti-LGBT mob violence in the hemisphere, with Jamaican police openly tolerating it. In 2004 the country's leading gay rights campaigner, Brian Williamson, was stabbed multiple times in an apparent anti-gay hate murder. The constant threat of violence has forced other gay rights campaigners to flee the country.
Capleton is one of a small group of Jamaican performers who have gained international notoriety for openly calling for the murder of lesbians and gays in the lyrics of their songs. As recently as last December at a concert in Jamaica, Capleton called out congratulations from the stage to those who commit violence — “All who a bun battyman and sodomite, hand up!” (“All who have burned queers and sodomites, put your hands up!”).
We are big supporters of free speech, having had our own threatened on numerous occasions. But only a fool would say that calls to lynch people – whoever the targets – is “free speech,” any more than is yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. Nor is Capleton's right to spew hate from the stage compromised by GLN's right to protest his presence on that stage. He has a right, within limits, to say what he pleases; he has no right to the stage he wants to say it from, it doesn't belong to him.
The cancellation of Capleton is a victory that all human rights supporters should savor. The Gay Liberation Network, which initiated the campaign against Capleton in Chicago, commends Kinetic Playground management for putting human rights principles above dollars by canceling the show.
Please put an exclamation point on this victory by buying a drink or two this Saturday night at Kinetic Playground, 1113 W. Lawrence Avenue, so that the management and staff there know that Chicago is willing to stand behind those who follow their conscience. Pam’s House Blend – Front Page
Three Democratic sources close to Rahm Emanuel tell CNN that the White House chief of staff informed senior colleagues he is all but certain to run for mayor of Chicago, and will leave the White House to take the final exploratory steps.
Close associates are already building a campaign team according to sources.
An announcement by Emanuel is expected to be scheduled for Friday, sources said.
One of the sources, a prominent Democrat close to the White House chief of staff, told CNN, “We see nothing that will stop a run. But you don’t announce a campaign for mayor of Chicago in Washington, D.C. You leave and go home and finish your business there.”
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced on Tuesday that he’s not running for reelection. It’s widely speculated that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is going to run. But, according to the Advocate, one other potential candidate to replace Daley is the city’s only gay Alderman, Tom Tunney:
Daley has had a generally good relationship with Chicago’s large gay population. In 2006 he was inducted into the city’s Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame as a “Friend of the Community.” His administration’s achievements include establishing Chicago’s Advisory Council on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues and Office of LGBT Health; instituting domestic-partner benefits for city employees; and adding gender identity to the municipal human rights ordinance. He has voiced personal support for marriage equality.
Restaurateur Tom Tunney, the first and only openly gay Chicago city council member, is reportedly among those interested in the mayor’s office. Tunney said last spring that he would consider a run, but only if Daley retired. Other potential contenders, according to the Tribune, include President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel; Cook County sheriff Tom Dart; outgoing county assessor James Houlihan; former Chicago inspector general David Hoffman; and several other aldermen.
How great would it be to have the gay guy beat Emanuel? That would be justice.