November 9, 2008

My Photos from Gay Rights Protest Downtown Chicago

Nellie and I made signs, brought cameras, and marched at the gay rights protest downtown last night. We marched with our friend Sarah King and were pleased to see a big turnout, and a nicely organized protest.

Guess what? It's not cool to rewrite state constitutions to strip people of their legal rights. On behalf of my gay siblings and all the people I love, NO, I can't accept this.

My friends Tom and George just moved to California and, after many years together, were legally married. For about a week. Until James Dobson and his bigoted cohorts pushed Prop 8 through and rewrote the state constitution to strip gays of their legal rights. Now Tom and George aren't married anymore.

Best picture of the night - a little boy holding a sign that says "I love my gay nanny."

"I love my gay nanny" - Dump Dobson Protest For Gay Rights in Chicago

Dump Dobson Protest For Gay Rights in Chicago

Dump Dobson Protest For Gay Rights in Chicago

Dump Dobson Protest For Gay Rights in Chicago

Dump Dobson Protest For Gay Rights in Chicago

Dump Dobson Protest For Gay Rights in Chicago

Dump Dobson Protest For Gay Rights in Chicago


Dale said...

Another post about this greatest of stupidities, the passing of Proposition 8. You're a good woman Elizabeth. Great photos and they help restore the humanity I keep fearing is lost.

Carol said...

pictures say a thousand words. god loves you, he knows you are good. so does your mom.

Coaster Punchman said...

It is incredibly awesome that protests are going on in states other than California. Thanks so much for participating and for posting this. CP

Evangelical Sunblock said...

Thank you for posting these pics. I was there last the nanny ;) He was an amazing trooper, very proud of his sign. His parents were so proud of him too. This was his first protest.

Elizabeth McQuern said...

Thanks for the nice comments, everyone (and Mom!).

Wow, evangelical sunblock, you're the nanny the sign was about? That was really the highpoint for me. My roommate (who is also a nanny) and I totally welled up.

Evangelical Sunblock said...

His mom and dad have worked tirelessly to help him understand that my partner and I love each other just like his parents do, but that we can't get married and that some people are mean to us. That's enough for him. His little brother would have been there with a matching sign, but sleep got the better of him.

kiddo on left, nanny middle, mom right

Thank you also, Elizabeth, for being there last night.

Elizabeth McQuern said...

Wow! That's you in the middle, awesome. I actually was taking video then, so that picture is a screengrab from the footage. When my roommate said "can we see your sign" and you all three turned toward me and smiled, I couldn't even say "thank you" because I was afraid I would cry. :)

So awesome.

cameron said...

yay, evangelical sunblock! i, too, am a gay nanny and a good friend of the wonderful ms. elizabeth. i'm so proud to spend my time with progressive and politically active family i nanny for; it sounds like you also work for a great family!

Nellie said...


I just cried READING these comments. I'm SO glad that you found elizabeths blog, e.s.

Also, as a nanny, it touches me so deeply to see parents nurturing their childs' tolerance and acceptance of people.

Babys first protest. Amazing.

Esther said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I just wanted to add my thanks too for the great report. Although I don't know anyone personally who was affected by the California vote, I'm totally heartsick over it. My gay and lesbian friends and coworkers are among the most moral, decent and caring people I know.

To insinuate, as the Prop. 8 supporters did, that their relationships are a threat to families or children is totally reprehensible. I can't believe on the same night we elected Barack Obama, California voters decided to codify discrimination. It's just unbelievable and unAmerican.

And it was so great to hear from evangelical sunblock. It burns me up when people say their children "aren't ready" to hear about gay relationships. It makes me so angry that people talk about this like it's something we have to "protect" children from.

I know someone whose brother is gay and when her young sons asked what that meant, she simply said, some men love women and some men love other men. End of story. She loves her brother and the kids love their uncle.

When you think about the real threats to children in this world - hunger, crumbling schools, inadequate health care - well, I don't see a groundswell of support to do anything about them. No, bashing the gays is easier, sadly.

As you can tell, I'm very, very angry. I have two dear friends who've been partners for five years and they are among the most decent, generous, kind people I know, incredibly good citizens. They don't deserve to be treated like this, to have their humanity attacked, to be treated as second-class citizens, to have the way they were born reduced to a "lifestyle choice," to have their deep and real love for each other called immoral No one does.

Before my friends, I felt more detached about this issue. But now, I take it very personally. We're talking about MY friends.

lulu said...

This whole thing is just obscene, that it was even on the ballot, that it was voted in, that the country hasn't risen up in mass protest.

Elizabeth McQuern said...

I know how you feel, Esther. Obviously I have gay people in my family, but since moving to Chicago I've made even more gay friends, and seeing them react to the shifting situation of gay rights makes it all the more urgent for me to speak up and try to effect some kind of change.

trailallies said...

I am the "employer" of the nanny and mother of the boy in the above picture. Employer is not a word I use to describe my relationship with Lani. She is my friend and she is part of our family. Lani cares for my children because of her intellect, her character, and her integrity. She is smart, funny, creative, loving, and kind. She is affectionate with my kids and they LOVE her. She is who you want on your team in a crisis. The fact that she is gay, and her presence in our lives has led us to actively teach and continue to model for our children an attitude of openness and compassion toward the meaning of family, is the cherry on top. The truth is, we would love her gay or straight, we just love HER.