Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-11-25
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


Divorce equal for all
Part of a series
by Roger McCaffrey

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

When the Civil Union Act was signed into law by Governor Quinn, everyone was rejoicing of the granting of all the legal benefits to same sex couples. For Beth and her ex-lover Janet, however, the joy of the new civil union law was not that they could enter into a legally binding relationship in Illinois — the joy was that they could finally end the legal relationship they created in Vermont in 2000.

In 2000, LGBT couples from all states could travel to Vermont, apply to Vermont town clerks for a civil union license and then receive a civil union certificate. Vermont intended that the legal status granted to LGBT couples was to be parallel to civil marriage. But it only worked while in Vermont.

Relationships change and it changed for Beth and Janet, who now live apart. In 2006 they split. Now ready to move into new unions and marriages, they discovered they could not terminate their Vermont civil union in Illinois. Illinois did not allow them to "divorce" under Illinois law. The only way for Janet and Beth to terminate their Vermont civil union was for one of them to move to Vermont and meet the residency requirement of living there for one year. They couldn't afford to move back nor did they want to. So they stayed together legally.

People change and grow, people can create ugly disasters and people make mistakes — what seemed like a good idea at one point in someone's life may not be the same great idea years later. The new civil union law in Illinois provides a legal fix for the mistakes. It allows judges to grant legal dissolution of unions and make declarations of invalidity of a civil union, and decree that a marriage between persons of the same sex, a civil union, or a substantially similar relationship (other than a common law marriage), legally entered into in another jurisdiction, can be dissolved here in Illinois.

Now Janet and Beth — as well as all the other LGBT couples who have marriage licensees from other states and countries — can have the benefit of Illinois' law and courts to terminate their legal ties — to unwind the mistakes and fix the bad ideas. This gives a real sense of equality to LGBT couples so they know they won't end up in legal limbo if their relationship changes.

facebook twitter stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Three killed at Acapulco gay festival 2015-11-30
Organizations respond to McDonald video 2015-11-29
Protesters close down the Magnificent Mile 2015-11-29
Video showing death of Laquan McDonald released, responses begin 2015-11-25
National roundup: Indiana bill; Obergefell backs Hillary; task force 2015-11-24
World news: LGBT Ugandans; Ireland and marriage; trans deaths 2015-11-24
Task Force condemns police's treatment of transgender activist 2015-11-19
Lambda Legal settles lawsuit on behalf of gay couple kicked out of taxi 2015-11-19
Nat'l roundup: ACA cases; anti-trans petition; anti-LGBT companies; marriage 2015-11-17
Briefs: Navy murder facts revealed; SPARTA honored; Utah judge recuses himself 2015-11-17
Alabama mom asks court to review state's refusal to recognize her as parent 2015-11-17
Lambda Legal calls for comprehensive protections for LGBT Hoosiers 2015-11-17
Report: Utah judge orders child removed from home of same-sex parents 2015-11-11
South Side's Village offers free legal clinic for sex workers 2015-11-11
Task Force lauds Missouri students' courage, racial justice campaign 2015-11-10
ACLU Sues on behalf of Black transgender woman illegally profiled, jailed 2015-11-10
Supreme Court birth control ruling will affect millions of LGBTQs 2015-11-10
Law-school event looks at Obergefell 2015-11-10
Marriage-equality architect Wolfson reflects, looks forward 2015-11-10
Indiana Chamber of Commerce backs gay rights protections 2015-11-06
Prisoners and allies group releases hard-hitting report on LGBTQ prisoners 2015-11-05
Report covers marriage, philanthropy 2015-11-04
California Civil Rights Coalition ready to fight following Houston LGBT vote 2015-11-04
National: Couple arrested; Julian Castro, Sally Field; Don Lemon petition 2015-11-03
World news: Fatal attack; blood ban ends; marriage news 2015-11-03
U.S. Dept. of Ed.: Palatine school district violated Title IX on trans access 2015-11-03
OutRight CEO Stern 'hopeful' for future of global human rights 2015-11-03
Houston repeals non-discrimination law 2015-11-03
Obama's executive order to benefit formerly incarcerated LGBTQs 2015-11-02
Outed Goshen candidate still does not support ordinance change 2015-11-01
Zopp: Duckworth inconsistent on marriage equality 2015-11-01
LGBT state leaders to confer on ongoing fight in a marriage equality world 2015-11-01
Obama calls for prison reform in weekly address 2015-10-31
Lambda Legal joins federal lawsuit after antigay attack at Rikers Island 2015-10-29
Obama administration files brief supporting trans student challenging school 2015-10-29
Report: Only half of LGBT Americans protected from job discrimination 2015-10-28
CELEBRATIONS Wedding: Shayna X Kramer and Larissa Sims 2015-10-28
Relationships & the Law Today: Filing discrimination claims 2015-10-28
Advocate Evan Wolfson on ending discrimination 2015-10-28
THEATER REVIEW Lawd, the CVS Is Burning 2015-10-28

Copyright © 2015 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 Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.