On the day that the Supreme Court announces its decision on marriage rights for same-sex couples, Chicagoans will join a coalition of over 50 cities responding to the decision.
In Chicago, the response will be at 7 PM with an LGBT community speak-out in front of our city’s LGBT community center, the Center on Halsted at 3656 N. Halsted Street.
The Court’s decision could be about much more than just marriage, as important as that is for many in the LGBTQ community. At stake are broader issues of whether the Constitution’s 14th Amendment will finally apply to LGBT people – if we will be legally guaranteed equal access to jobs, housing and access to public accommodations.If on the other hand the Court issues a narrow ruling, strictly confined to granting marriage rights, it may prove a hollow victory, as legislators in a handful of states have used the Court’s Hobby Lobbydecision to attempt to carve out broad “religious” exemptions to LGBTs’ equal access to places of public accommodation. In the past week, Michigan and North Carolina have passed such legislation, with legislators in many other states waiting in the wings to do the same.
If the Court does not issue a clear ruling saying LGBTs are a group worthy of the equal citizenship protections of the 14th Amendment, it will open the door to more legislation citing ‘religious freedom’ as a cover for anti-LGBT bigotry.
Whatever the outcome, organizers are urging all supporters of equal rights to come to the speak-out either to celebrate a broad victory and urge sweeping implementation of it, or to protest an anti-LGBT decision which fails to recognize the humanity and citizenship of LGBTs.