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 2017-11-15
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

VIEWPOINTS Marriage equality: Nothing to fear in Illinois
by Charles Martel
2013-01-09

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


Eight years ago, the citizens of Massachusetts were given a long list of fears by some as to the predictions of what would happen to marriage now that same sex couples had been given the legal right to marry. Now—15,000 couples later—not only has nothing bad happened, and none of those fears realized, but also we have come to experience the reality that love really did win out. And so has society.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is unique in terms of being the first state to grant civil marriage rights to same-sex couples, but what is not unique is experience in now eight other states and the District of Columbia, where these couples have stood before family and friends to make the same commitments of love that is the core of what we call the institution of marriage.

There were those who feared that somehow the granting of these rights to same sex couples would diminish our understanding of marriage, or that it would it reduce the specialness of such a pledge, one to another. Some worried that this was a "dangerous social experiment," that instead of seeing this as a matter of fairness to same-sex couples, it would introduce chaos into the social fabric, creating confusion. This has not happened.

There were those who were afraid that this legal right would infringe on the rights of religious denominations to decide what constituted for them a sacramental marriage, that somehow they would be forced by the government to officiate at weddings they did not wish to bless.

None of this has come to pass, but rather the laws in each state protect the rights of each religious denomination to determine whom they choose to marry, as has always been the case. Religious liberty has been preserved. Religious denominations that wish to bless same sex couples are free to do so, and those who choose not to, do not have to.

When I was invited to join the Board of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry in 1997, an organization of Massachusetts' clergy—as a lay Roman Catholic—the idea that marriage equality would ever become a reality was a distant hope. But we were committed to this endeavor, each mindful that a movement of justice evolves over time, grounded in the belief that the stories of love would be the source of change. Recalling when we had the 100th clergy signer to our declaration, a faith-based statement of support for marriage equality, we began to see the possibilities.

When the signing of the 1,000th member of the clergy took place in the Great Hall of the State House in Boston, by the Suffragan Episcopal Bishop of Eastern Massachusetts Gayle Harris, clergy of 23 denominations throughout Massachusetts had attached their names to the Declaration. While this was in support of the rights for civil marriage, it was a witness that God was not absent from these proceedings.

As a practicing Roman Catholic, the challenges were never easy with the hierarchy continuing their opposition at every opportunity to recognizing same sex couples. But what became very clear and evident to me was that the laity saw this very differently, for these couples were their families and friends, those whom they loved, and whose love for each other they witnessed on a daily basis. For them, this was not an abstraction but a reality, and they were advocates and allies throughout the political journey, which followed the ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Right now, the legislature in Illinois is at an important juncture with the possibility of upcoming vote on marriage equality. Many of the same stories of fears have been told, and repeated over and over again. But Illinois lawmakers and citizens are in a very different position than were the citizens and lawmakers of Massachusetts eight years ago, for our Massachusetts story, and the stories of all the states with marriage equality, offer you the experience and knowledge that these fears are unfounded.

Now, in Illinois, perhaps it is your turn to ensure that love, in the end, wins out.

A Boston-based licensed clinical social worker in private practice, Charles Martel is a co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality, an advocacy organization.


facebook twitter 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

Gay News

THE AMAZON TRAIL Dorky dykes 2017-11-15 - I suppose I'm at my dorkiest about my stuffed animals. I have my first teddy bear, Buzz. I have the two cats Carol ...


Gay News

LETTERS Hepatitis crisis 2017-11-15 - The AIDS Foundation of Chicago ( AFC ) and Legal Council for Health Justice ( LCHJ ) are appalled to learn the state ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Will and Grace 2017: You Can't Go Home Again 2017-11-12 - 1 Sitcoms, when they are done well, are like families. As a child of the Seventies and Eighties, I had very ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT Zelim Bakaev: The face of Chechnya's anti-gay purge 2017-11-08 - The global LGBT community lives in very unsettling times. Chechnya is an Eastern European republic that is under the guidance and influence ...


Gay News

Looking back: LGBTQ History Month's canon 2017-11-01 - Winston Churchill once said, "History is written by the winners." When the Stonewall Riots occurred in 1969, the history of more than a ...


Gay News

Rev. Garner, 'You're Fired!': 1st and only Black person on MCC Senior Staff 2017-10-27 - (As first published in the Los Angeles Blade) I am shocked and I am not easily shocked! Too many powerful, competent women ...


Gay News

VIEWS Banning LGBTQ+ children's books will not erase us 2017-10-25 - Visibility sends a positive message of inclusion. Nowhere is this more important than in childhood. Seeing images and hearing stories reflective of ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN A very queer Halloween 2017-10-24 - Halloween is almost here, which—for many of us—means trips to the store to purchase overpriced costumes or hours spent sewing and hot-gluing homemade ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Fighting transphobia 2017-10-18 - A lot of people believe that being completely open with your significant other is an important part of any relationship, but to what ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Welcome 2017-10-11 - My name is Toni Marie Preston. I am a Black, queer, trans femme with sickle cell disease. I'm also currently a senior sociology ...


 



Copyright © 2017 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

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.