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 2016-06-22
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

PFLAG National submits amicus brief with family voice
Local Neubecker family represents PFLAG National
by Melissa Wasserman
2013-03-03

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


At a Respect for Marriage Coalition press conference, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National filed an amicus brief on Feb. 28.

Standing as one of the families profiled, the Neubeckers represented PFLAG National as part of a broad bipartisan coalition of organizations planning to submit amicus briefs.

The amicus brief resulted to support the plaintiffs in the landmark Perry v. Hollingsworth case, which disputes the constitutionality of the Proposition 8 legislation in California that prohibits same-sex couples from marrying. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on March 26 and 27.

The brief included PFLAG families sharing their first-hand perspectives and the impact they face due to the law's lack of equal protection toward same-sex couples as well as the entire family.

Three generations of Neubeckers participated in the national campaign. PFLAG members Mike and Janice Neubecker, their son Lee and Lee's partner, David Neubecker, and one of David and Lee's two children, Braiden, traveled to Washington, D.C., from Michigan and the near west suburbs of the Chicagoland area to speak on behalf of PFLAG families everywhere.

"This is really important because it's a message to the court of why my son and his partner should be allowed to get married," Mike said. "It's very personal and this is an important case. My wife and I have lived in foreign countries, we've lived in several states across the country, and we've never had to get remarried in another country or another state because of not recognizing our marriage. It's universally accepted and I want nothing less for my son and my son-in-law. They are not second-class people, they're not second-class citizens, and their love is not second class."

Mike calls David his son-in-law as he stands as an optimist on the future of same-sex marriage. Speaking at the press conference, Mike said he felt privileged to be part of the amicus brief for PFLAG.

More than the facing the issue of marriage equality as a couple, David and Lee are concerned about having their marriage recognized for the sake of their children, Braiden and Michael, whom they adopted from foster care three and a half years ago. The couple, who live in Chicago's west suburbs, married in California in 2004, explains they want to protect their family and be treated the same as any other family in America.

"It's been difficult for our family in some ways because we've spent so much time building up a feeling of trust and safety with our kids," said David. "Given our backgrounds, the public debate of the validity of our family has caused our children to feel somewhat insecure. They've questioned whether they were going to be removed from their home because they hear that the government doesn't support our marriage and when they're processing that in their minds, they're worried they're going to be taken away from us."

According to Lee and David, the family feels supported within the community they live in and they participate in all the same everyday activities such as baseball practices, Girl Scout meetings, volunteering at school, grocery shopping, and doctor's appointments. However, when it comes to filling out various school or government forms, they say they feel degraded as a couple and the children are confused with a feeling of insecurity as they are forced to select the "single" option.

"It forces us to answer the questions in a way that's legally valid, which is repudiation of our relationship," said Lee. "It's not lying; it's a misrepresentation in terms of how we feel."

Lee and David have been active in the fight for gay rights since they were teens. Now they are part of the Illinois marriage equality campaign. When watching president Obama's inauguration speech, they noticed 10-year-old Braiden comprehending and getting excited especially when she heard him say he supported gays and lesbians' ability to get married. She reacted with a fist pump and cheer.

"I was proud she was so excited about that, but it was also a wake-up call that she was really in tune to the issue and she was realizing we are treated differently," said David. "We've tried to protect them as much as possible from that, as any parent would. I think that's galvanized us more in just wanting to have our family treated the same as any other family and to provide that additional security for our child that any parent would want."

Braiden took action. She wrote a letter expressing her personal feelings about her family and the issue of marriage equality. Her grandfather presented the letter at the press conference. It has also been published and shared in various other forums, including Windy City Times. A shy child by nature, as her dads describe her, this letter was a significant step and they are proud to see her stand up for her beliefs with courage.

"I thought of things I felt and they [her dads] felt," said Braiden of the content in her letter. "It's changing people that think that gay rights shouldn't be right."

According to Lee and David she is learning she can stand up for not just herself, but she can stand up for her family and have a voice and that that voice can be heard and respected. Lee anticipates his children's' story is unique and may be just the type of story that can change an uncertain Republican or Democrat's perspective.

"Quite often the adults look at this issue from an adult perspective and they get very wrapped up in what it means from a historical perspective and what it means in different religious bodies, but when you look at it from the eyes of a 10-year-old, they really kind of bring it all into focus—treating families fairly, treating one another the way you would want to be treated," said David. "You could say it much more simply than that and have it make so much sense. I think Braiden's been able to bring some clarity to the issue that's gotten lost."

See Braiden's original essay here: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/VIEWPOINTS-My-family-and-marriage-equality/41581.html .

See related story, VIEWPOINTS My family and marriage equality by Braiden Neubecker, age 10 1/2, here: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/VIEWPOINTS-My-family-and-marriage-equality/41581.html


facebook twitter pin it 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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Thousands at Chicago's 20th annual Dyke March 2016-06-25
Reaction to UK referendum result, the ILGA-Europe perspective 2016-06-25
DNC video celebrates LGBT progress 2016-06-25
Bipartisan gun-control measure introduced in state House 2016-06-23
Rep. Quigley to Address Equality Act at 35th Annual Proud to Run 2016-06-23
Transgender measure passes City Council vote 2016-06-22
National roundup: Gay trial lawyer, Anderson Cooper, Westboro counterprotest 2016-06-21
World news: Turkish parade, criminal negligence, EU consensus 2016-06-21
Donald Trump to Campaign, Again, with Anti-LGBTQ Leaders and Hate Groups 2016-06-21
Chicago Muslim and LGBTQ leaders unite against efforts to divide 2016-06-21
Diaspora forum opens eyes to persecution across borders 2016-06-19
Sen. Durbin visit to Town Hall apartments spurs discussion on gun control 2016-06-19
Obama's weekly address: Standing with Orlando 2016-06-18
Claps to leave Department of Human Rights 2016-06-17
President Obama speaks in Orlanda, Florida 2016-06-16
World news: Orlando reactions, Thai milestone and Ukraine parade 2016-06-15
Newest edition of Red Ribbon Cash ticket unveiled 2016-06-14
Groups host 'Black and Brown Town Hall' 2016-06-13
HRC: Five Ways Donald Trump Would Roll Back LGBTQ Equality as President 2016-06-09
President Obama hosts his last LGBT Pride reception 2016-06-09
Obama endorses Hillary Clinton 2016-06-09
FACT SHEET: Obama Administration's Record and the LGBT Community 2016-06-09
City Council committee votes to advance trans measure 2016-06-08
Hillary Clinton's historic night shatters barriers 2016-06-07
Obama statement on 35th anniversary of HIV/AIDS in America 2016-06-05
Uptown Target counter-protest strikes emotional chord 2016-06-04
Trans United Fund releases Sanders answers, shares Clinton's Op-Ed 2016-06-03
Views: The Bathroom: America's New Civil Rights Battleground 2016-06-03
Navy Celebrates 2016 LGBT Pride Month 2016-06-03
Trans and allies to support Target Saturday 2016-06-03
White House honors local lesbian actress 2016-06-01
Illinois General Assembly passes LGBT pension bill 2016-05-31
Obama issues his final LGBT Pride Month Presidential Proclamation 2016-05-31
National roundup: Trans survey, Gates ends term, UNC defies HB2 2016-05-31
World news: Church of Scotland, Australian artwork, Tutu's daughter 2016-05-31
Testimony on Chicago transgender measure set for June 8 2016-05-29
Lawsuit Filed by 11 states challenges Obama on trans guidance 2016-05-25
National roundup: La Raza move, Amtrak ruling, Olson authoring brief 2016-05-24
World news: Gay South Africans, Nigerian arrests, gay-panic defense 2016-05-24
Trans United Fund issues questionnaires to prez candidates 2016-05-23
 



Copyright © 2016 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
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

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.