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Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO

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Last June, Chicago couple Steven White and Matt McCrea were kicked out of a taxi for sharing a closed-mouth second-long kiss. In October, Lambda Legal stepped in to file a complaint on behalf of the couple with the Illinois Department of Human Rights. Christopher Clark, Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, then commented, "A taxi-cab company, like any other business in Illinois that offers services to the public, is bound by the Illinois Human Rights Act to not discriminate based on sexual orientation, among other protected categories." However, as NBC 5 Chicago reports, that complaint was rejected "because the department said it had no jurisdiction over corporate entities." The couple has now filed a lawsuit against the taxi cab company: 

"It's ludicrous to suggest that a cab company is not responsible for the discrimination enacted by its drivers," the couple's lawyer, Christopher Clark, said. "They should be liable under the law for the conduct of their agents."

The suit claims the driver, who is not named in the suit, complained the men were "making sex" in the cab in May 2013. McCrea and White, who were heading into the city from O'Hare, say the driver began flashing the interior lights of the vehicle and then swerved on to the shoulder of the Kennedy Expressway and demanded they get out miles before their intended destination.

Meanwhile, the driver was issued several violations and fined close to $2,000 because of the incident. 

Watch a news report on the couple's latest legal action, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Gay Chicago Couple Kicked Out Of Taxi For Kissing Files New Lawsuit: VIDEO" »


Marriage Equality Advocates to Rally in Chicago Today on Eve of Seventh Circuit Arguments

ChicagoplazaMidwestern same-sex couples, LGBT supporters, and faith leaders will rally in the Chicago Federal Plaza this afternoon on the eve of marriage cases before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals tomorrow. Illinois state Rep. Greg Harris, author of the new Illinois marriage equality law, will kick off the rally and welcome the plaintiffs in the cases which center on marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. The three-judge panel will be announced in the morning. 

For more information on the rally, head HERE.

Last month, the Seventh Circuit ruled that the state of Indiana must recognize the marriage of a terminally ill lesbian. 

[photo via Flickr]


National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame Announces New Inductees

HallofFameSideProof3It's been almost a year since the first-ever inductees of the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame were honored in Chicago. Included were big-name athletes such as Billie Jean King, Greg Louganis, Jason Collins, and Johnny Weir.

This year, on July 11, a new crop of athletes and organizations will be honored in The Windy City. Among them will be: baseball player William ‘Billy’ Bean of the San Diego Padres, British diver Tom Daley, and rugby player Mark Bingham — who is known both as the namesake of the Bingham Cup and for his tragic death on United 93 in the 9/11 attacks.

Football fans will note the absence of NFL newbie Michael Sam. While Sam is still green in his career, it's worth noting that the list includes three former NFL players who came out as gay after their time in the league ended: Esera Tuaolo, Wade Davis, and Jerry Smith (deceased 1986, a casualty of the AIDS epidemic).

While some of the most visible inductees are LGBT athletes, organizations (e.g. Nike) and sports businesspeople are also included. As are straight allies — deceased San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (portrayed by Victor Garber in Milk) is also included in the list. The complete "roster" of inductees, via GNN:


John Amaechi, retired NBA player;
 Mark Bingham, rugby player (deceased); Tom Daley, Olympic medal winning diver
; Wade Davis, executive director of You Can Play and retired NFL player
; Fallon Fox, mixed martial artist
; Brittney Griner, decorated collegiate athlete, active WNBA player
; Mayor George Moscone, straight ally, former Mayor of San Francisco (deceased)
; Chris Mosier, founder of transathlete.com
; Nike, corporation
; Diana Nyad, endurance swimmer
; Jerry Smith, NFL player (deceased)
; Stand Up Foundation, anti-bullying non-profit organization
; Gareth Thomas, retired rugby player
; Esera Tuaolo, retired NFL player.


Chicago's Gay Community Shames Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Bruce Rauner

Bruce rauner poster chicaho pride

Equality Illinois, along with associated community members and elected officials, yesterday unveiled a giant banner of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, showcasing last year’s statement that he would have vetoed the state’s new marriage equality bill had it come to his desk as governor.

The two-story banner titled Bruce Rauner On Equal Marriage, uses the quote: “If I were Governor, I would veto it.”

The banner is located at one of the busiest locations on the Chicago Pride Parade, which is expected to see large crowds this year thanks in part to the marriage equality law going into effect on June 1.

In a statement, Art Johnson, co-founder of Equality Illinois and owner of the Sidetrack bar, said that Rauner “has made it clear he opposes the freedom to marry and has chosen the side of bigotry and intolerance."

Despite claiming to “have many gay friends” that he hopes “have great lives together” should they choose to get married, Rauner said that although he does not have a “social issues agenda”, he would consider repealing the state's marriage equality law if that’s what voters want.


Flight Attendant Replaces Safety Announcement With Hilarious Sassy Speech: VIDEO

Flight_attendant

On a San Francisco to Chicago flight June 17th, a male flight attendant replaced the usual safety announcement with a sassy speech.

The unidentified attendant said that seat belts should be “low and tight across your hips just like the hot pink Speedo I’m going to be wearing when I get the [other flight attendants] to a hotel hot tub tonight.”

According to YouTube uploader David London, the attendant also threw a cocktail party half way through the flight.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP

You may recall another sassy Southwest attendant from this clip that went viral back in April. Seems as though they're trying to take some of the drudgery out of air travel.

Continue reading "Flight Attendant Replaces Safety Announcement With Hilarious Sassy Speech: VIDEO" »


Equality Illinois Calls for Challenge of Brunei Ambassador Over Country’s Anti-gay Law

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 11.39.07 AMThe Chicago Council on Global Affairs plans to host the Brunei ambassador to the United States at a meeting in Chicago today and Equality Illinois is calling on participants to bring up Brunei’s new anti-gay law punishing homosexual acts with death by stoning.

Via press release:

“We should take every opportunity to challenge and express opposition to this obscene law that violates all norms of human rights,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois, the state’s oldest and largest organization advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Illinoisans.

“Many nations make life difficult or create outright bans on their LGBT citizens but few go as far as Brunei in instituting a heinous death penalty for being gay,” Cherkasov said. “American businesses with global interests should specifically avoid doing business in Brunei, lest they place their employees at risk because of their actual or perceived LGBT identity.”

Brunei Amb. Dato Yusoff Abd Hamid will be joined by five other ambassadors of countries in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).


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