Connect with us

News

Ill. lesbian couple granted immediate marriage license

Terminally ill woman and partner sought to wed immediately

Published

on

A court has granted Vernita Gray (left) and Patricia Ewert an expedited marriage license in Illinois (Photo courtesy Lambda Legal).

A court has granted Vernita Gray (left) and Patricia Ewert an expedited marriage license in Illinois. (Photo courtesy Lambda Legal)

A state court in Illinois has granted a temporary restraining order to a lesbian couple in which one person in the relationship is terminally ill so the two can wed before the effective date of the state’s recently signed marriage equality law.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin, an Obama appointee, signed a proposed temporary restraining order on Monday ordering Cook County Clerk David Orr to grant Vernita Gray and Patricia Ewert a marriage license and register their marriage.

“Defendant is ordered to issue a marriage license to Plaintiffs upon their application and satisfaction of all legal requirements for a marriage in Cook County except for the requirement that they be of different sexes, and Defendant is ordered to register their solemnized marriage as is presently required for all other marriages,” Durkin writes.

Durkin adds in his own handwriting that the proposed order will expire on Dec. 9 unless otherwise extended.

According to the complaint filed on Friday, Gray was diagnosed in 1996 with breast cancer that has since proved terminal as it has metastasized into her bones and brain. She may only have weeks left to live.

Even though the Cook County couple entered into a civil union in 2011, Gray and Ewert wish to marry in Illinois before Gray passes away. Erik Roldon, a spokesperson for Lambda Legal, said now that the couple has the temporary restraining order, they could marry as soon as Wednesday.

In a statement, Gray expressed tremendous joy that she’d finally be able to marry her long-time partner in their home state.

“I have two cancers, bone and brain and I just had chemo today — I am so happy to get this news,” Gray said. “I’m excited to be able to marry and take care of Pat, my partner and my family, should I pass.”

Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed into law last week legislation granting same-sex couples the right to marry to Illinois, but that law doesn’t go into effect until June 1.

Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois filed the lawsuit Friday on behalf of the couple to seek immediate action. The advocacy groups — joined by counsel at Kirkland & Ellis and Miller, Shakman & Beem — asked that the court hear the case on an emergency basis.

Camilla Taylor, marriage project director for Lambda Legal, said the temporary restraining order will bring quick action for the two in their remaining days.

“Vernita is terminally ill and she wishes to marry the woman she loves before she dies — and now she won’t have to wait another day,” Taylor said. “These two women, who have loved and cared for each other in good times and bad, through sickness and through health, will get to know what it means to be married.”

John Knight, LGBT Project Director at the ACLU of Illinois, said the judge issued the order because of the “arbitrary nature of the start date” of the new law.

“Their love deserves the dignity of marriage now and there is simply no justification for forcing them to wait,” Knight said.

According to the complaint, both Gray and Ewert have engaged in various forms of activism even before the time they met.

Gray, 64, spent 20 years working as a victim’s advocate in the Cook County court systems and served as LGBT liaison in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. For her work in combatting hate crimes, Gray was invited to the White House in 2009 to witness President Obama’s signing of the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

Ewert, 65, and a breast cancer survivor, is currently community outreach coordinator for Illinois State Rep. Kelly Cassidy and a former executive director for Lives on Target, a non-profit dedicated to providing archery resources.

Natalie Bauer, a spokesperson for Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, said her boss filed a brief before the court in support of the order and supports the decision.

“While the State has now taken the historic step of extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples, Ms. Gray’s terminal illness is expected to prevent her from living until June 1 when she and Ms. Ewert could finally obtain the rights and benefits of being married,” Bauer said. “Continuing to ban this committed couple from marrying violates their right to equal protection and serves no legitimate purpose.”

Courts have previously ordered county clerks to grant marriage licenses to gay couples statewide and a federal judge in Ohio has issued temporary restraining orders requiring the recognition of the union of same-sex couples who wed elsewhere.

However, the Illinois order is the first time a court has through a temporary restraining order required a county clerk to provide a marriage license to a same-sex couple. It’s also the first time a court has granted an expedited license following a state legislature’s passage of marriage equality.

Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said the judge’s order builds on the realization by the Illinois state legislature that there’s no reason to prohibit same-sex couples from marrying.

“The Illinois Legislature found no good reason to exclude gay couples from marriage; now the court found no good reason to deny this loving committed couple their marriage license even one more day,” Wolfson said. “The judge, like a majority of Americans, understood the human reality that gay couples’ exclusion from marriage is painful and unjust, and that every day of denial is a day of real harm.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

En Espanol

FUVADIS y Red Somos en Colombia apoyarán en el prerregistro virtual del ETPV a migrantes trans y LGBTQ

Grupos trabajan en Bogotá y Barranquilla.

Published

on

(Captura de pantalla)

OrgulloLGBT.co es el medio socio del Washington Blade en Colombia. Este anuncio salió en su portal el 18 de junio.

BOGOTÁ — En conjunto a la corporación Red Somos, en Bogotá, la fundación FUVADIS en Barranquilla abrió un registro virtual mediante el cual las personas venezolanas con experiencia de vida trans podrán inscribirse desde cualquier parte de Colombia, para recibir asistencia con el acceso efectivo al Estatuto Temporal de Protección con su nombre y género que se identifiquen, de acuerdo con el título V, artículo 36 de la resolución 0971 del ETPV.

Ambas organizaciones brindarán a esta población el registro asistido del RUMV, acompañamiento jurídico en la constitución de una escritura pública donde manifieste su deseo a tener el nombre y género con el que se identifica y orientación a sus rutas de atención.

Así lo explica Luis Meneses, presidente y representante legal de Fuvadis, quien colocó a disposición el link con el formulario donde las personas interesadas desde cualquier parte del país podrán dejar sus datos para acceder a este proceso de forma gratuita.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1GC5NClnjMMNqVaj8fFnJ2McadE_IPtGjZ1sF-dCsZso/edit

Asimismo, la corporación Red Somos ya ha venido adelantando este proceso de acompañamiento para el prerregistro virtual desde el pasado mes de mayo, con el que han asesorado a más de 300 personas en las ciudades de Bogotá y Soacha, afirmó el director ejecutivo de la organización, José Guillén.

Las personas LGBTI que deseen ser apoyadas en la capital colombiana pueden agendarse a través del ciber educador (+57) 3004105915.

Población migrante general

Por otra parte, FUVADIS estará brindando atención y orientación a población general en la fase 1 del Registro Único de Migrantes Venezolanos (RUMV), específicamente en el proceso del prerregistro virtual asistido a partir de julio

El propósito es poder asistir a la ciudadanía venezolana que viva en Barranquilla y su área metropolitana, que aún no haya podido realizar o completar este primer paso para avanzar hacia la solicitud de su Permiso por Protección Temporal que otorgará el gobierno colombiano con vigencia de 10 años.

Luis Meneses destacó que esperan brindar asistencia y orientación a una gran cantidad de migrantes, a través de un equipo voluntario especializado.

Las jornadas para el prerregistro asistido estarán apoyadas por organizaciones de cooperación internacional como la Agencia de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR) la Fundación Panamericana para el Desarrollo (FUPAD), el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia (UNICEF), y la Gerencia de Fronteras de la Presidencia de la República de Colombia.

Se habilitarán líneas de atención telefónica y la página web de la fundación para que las personas puedan agendar su cita, cuidando así los aforos permitidos y guardando las medidas de bioseguridad.

Sobre FUVADIS

La fundación de atención inclusiva, social y humana, FUVADIS, es una de las cuatro organizaciones de la sociedad civil en Barranquilla que trabaja para población proveniente de Venezuela. Es una organización sin ánimo de lucro, con carácter social y de promoción de los derechos humanos que nace el 15 de agosto de 2018 e inicia su proceso de constitución legal en Colombia, teniendo su personería jurídica ante la Cámara de Comercio de Barranquilla el 1 de noviembre del 2019.

FUVADIS contribuye a la atención integral de la población refugiada y migrante venezolana, colombiana retornada, con énfasis en la población LGBTI, personas diagnosticadas con VIH, niños, niñas y adolescentes, gestantes y lactantes, hombres y mujeres que ejercen el trabajo sexual por supervivencia; a través de la ruta de atención establecida bajo la normativa del gobierno colombiano, así mismo acompañamiento psicosocial, participación en jornadas de salud, articulación a rutas de atención, entre otras.

Sus líneas de contacto en Barranquilla son 3006605350 y 035-3323062. Y sus redes sociales @fuvadisddhh en Twitter, @fuvadisinternacional en Facebook, Instagram  y YouTube.

Vía PRENSA FUVADIS

Continue Reading

News

WH responds to Fulton decision after odd team-up in daily briefing

Published

on

After an unlikely team-up of reporters in the White House briefing room, the Biden administration responded to the ruling in City of Philadelphia v. Fulton.

A White House spokesperson responded to the the decision last week, which was narrowly decided in favor of a religious-affiliated foster care agency seeking to reject LGBTQ families, via email to the Washington Blade.

“Since day one, the Biden-Harris Administration has been committed to fighting for full equality for LGBTQ+ families, and we intend to make good on that commitment,” the spokesperson said. “It’s possible to comply with the Fulton decision while taking a strong stand against discrimination.”

The email response comes after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said incorrectly on Monday the administration had already issued a statement on the decision. The question was first posed to her in response to an inquiry from a conservative reporter, then again from the Washington Blade.

A reporter with the religious news service EWTN, in an apparent attempt to make Biden look bad on the issue of religious freedom, asked Psaki for a response to the decision.

“I think we had issued a reaction to it,” Psaki said, even though the White House has made no official statement. “I don’t have anything more to it, but I have to move on.”

The EWTN reporter later interjected in the middle of the briefing a question about the supposed inconsistency of President Biden’s Catholic faith and his support for abortion rights.

The Blade, after being called on by Psaki, pointed out the White House has issued no reaction to Fulton, which could have significant impact on the ability of LGBTQ couples to adopt and foster children. Asked whether Biden was briefed on the ruling, Psaki went back to a non-existent previous statement.

“I thought we had,” Psaki replied. “If not, I will get that to you and this gentlemen over here.”

The Supreme Court, in a rare unanimous decision, issued in Fulton a limited ruling for Catholic Social Services, which sought a First Amendment right to reject same-sex couples in foster care despite having signed a contract with the City of Philadelphia agreeing not to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

But instead of issuing a sweeping decision on the First Amendment, the Supreme Court issued a decision applying only to the context of the contract between Catholic Social Services and the City of Philadelphia. The ruling found the contract doesn’t survive the test of strict scrutiny under the First Amendment because it had exemption language not generally applicable.

Continue Reading

World

Blinken says Biden raised Russia’s LGBTQ rights record with Putin

Geneva summit between two presidents took place on June 16

Published

on

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (Photo public domain)

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said President Biden raised the Kremlin’s LGBTQ rights record with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their recent summit.

“The president pushed human rights — including LGBTQI rights — with President Putin,” Blinken told Washington Post columnist, “PBS NewsHour” contributor and host of MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show” Jonathan Capehart during a virtual Pride month discussion the Atlantic Council hosted.

Biden met with Putin on June 16 in Geneva. Blinken was among those who participated in the summit.

The White House did not say whether Biden specifically raised Russia’s LGBTQ rights record with Putin. Biden told reporters after the summit that he stressed to Putin “that no president of the United States could keep faith with the American people if they did not speak out to defend our democratic values, to stand up for the universal rights and fundamental freedoms that all men and women have, in our view.”

“What he told President Putin is that as an American president — where for all of our challenges, many of which are manifest in recent months and recent years — this is something that is basically stamped in to our DNA and he would be abdicating his responsibility as president, as an American president, not to raise these issues,” Blinken told Capehart.

Capehart specifically asked Blinken about the case of two Chechen brothers who were arrested in Russia in February and returned to their homeland, even though they had fled Chechnya’s anti-LGBTQ crackdown.

“We didn’t get into specific cases in that meeting, but he made very clear to President Putin that this is fundamentally who we and who he is and what we’ll do and will continue to do going forward,” said Blinken.

Blinken also did not say how Putin specifically responded to Biden’s decision to raise his country’s LGBTQ rights record with him. Blinken, however, did say “there was at least an acknowledgment” the U.S. will raise human rights in such meetings.

“This is what an American president should do,” said Blinken. “This is who we are and this is what we represent to the world.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @washblade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular