Originally published April 23, 2015
to Spur Protests & Vigils Around the Country
Chicago’s rally will be at 5 PM, Tuesday, April 28 at Federal Plaza, Adams and Dearborn Streets.
It will be co-hosted by the 8th Day Center for Justice, Affinity Community Services, ANSWER Chicago, Chicago Area CodePink,Chicago Area Peace Action, Chicago Socialist Alternative, Chicago World Can’t Wait, Gay Liberation Network, LGBT Neighbors In Bridgeport Chicago, Marriage Equality USA, Neighbors for Peace,News & Letters, and The Civil Rights Agenda. Information about other cities’ events can be found at uniteformarriage.org.
While the official reason for the Supreme Court hearing and later decision is to settle the marriage rights issue in the four states whose bans have thus far been upheld by lower courts, the Court’s decision could have implications for LGBTs far beyond the issue of whether or not we can marry and have those rights respected in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
As the recent anti-LGBT “Religious Freedom Restoration Acts” in Indiana and elsewhere showed, religious conservatives have reacted to their probable defeat on the marriage issue by trying to prevent or roll-back LGBT’s equal access to public accommodations such as businesses.
Using the Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision against women’s reproductive freedom, they have cited a phony “religious liberty” argument to deny LGBTs equal access to businesses serving the public. In so doing, they are implicitly attacking a central achievement of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement – the equal access to public accommodations – the principle that businesses and other public institutions must be open to all.
Conceivably the Court’s decision this year could be about more than just marriage, but our ‘equal protection’ under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, paving the way for banning discrimination against LGBTs in public accommodations, even housing and employment as well. On the other hand, this same Court has given us shockingly reactionary rulings such as Hobby Lobby and Citizens United, and so the notion that we should be complacent about the Court’s forthcoming ruling is exceedingly foolish. As grassroots Hoosiers have shown us, you have to fight to win your rights.
How the Court decides these issues can be as much about public opinion — expressed through public demonstrations — as anything else. LGBTQ people have ALWAYS deserved equal rights, but it’s only in recent years with LGBTQs and our allies asserting our rights in public that the courts have begun responding. That’s why the April 28th rally is so important.
To co-sponsor or otherwise help to organize the Chicago rally, email LGBTliberation@aol.com or send a message to the event hosts at theFacebook page.