On Nov. 17, the activist organization Equal Marriage NOW! presented a giant “Thank You” card to Mayor Richard Daley outside his office at City Hall for his support of gay marriagealthough group members also had a few words about more things they thought the mayor could do.
Standing with supporters behind a banner, Andy Thayer thanked Daley for signing an equal marriage petition.
However, Thayer added that he thinks the mayor wields considerable power; he cited the razing of Meigs Field and the construction of Soldier Field as evidence of what Daley can do. Thayer said the group was here “to say that words are not enough. We thank the mayor for his sentiments but we demand implementation of equal marriage rights here in the county. He has that power as mayor of the third-largest city in the nation.”
Bob Schwartz echoed Thayer’s thoughts as he talked about how Daley “defied the federal government” when he destroyed Meigs.
Robert Castillo showed a photo of his partner, John Pennycuff [Windy City Times’ office manager], and himself; he talked about how ridiculous he thought it was that he had to travel so far to get married in California [a marriage later voided by the state] and asked politicians for their support.
Deb Mell, the sister-in-law of Illinois Gov. Blagojevich (and daughter of Ald. Dick Mell), mentioned how gays and lesbians serve on juries and perform other civil duties; therefore, she surmised, the GLBT community is entitled to the same rights as heterosexuals.
Blake Wilkinson read a statement from Jennifer Veile from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, which was also holding an equal marriage rally. Wilkinson also urged the gay community to unite to stop the agenda of President Bush.
Equal Marriage NOW! handed over the card to Daley’s GLBT liaison, Bill Greaves. Glenn Amoroso read the card, which stated, in part: “You, Mayor Daley, have made the brave and courageous action of signing our petition. You are a true friend of the gay and lesbian community.”
The group also displayed a blown-up copy of Daley’s signature on the petition.
After the presentation, the group and other gay-marriage advocates marched over to the office of Cook County Clerk David Orr to push for the County to open up marriage licenses to gay and lesbians couples.