A fire destroyed a gay bar Sunday morning in Chicago's in Oak Park neighborhood. The Velvet rope Ultra Lounge at 728 Lake St is the neighborhoods only gay bar and hate crime associated arson is being investigated as a cause. Chicago Tribune reported that fire was reported at 6:25 am and that derogatory messages were scrawled on the wall inside and the back door was found kicked in, which seems counter to the neighborhood which is known to be very welcoming to GLBT families. Owner Frank Elliot hopes to rebuild the bar and continue working on his other project, an Asian restaurant in boystown.
The Windy Gay City Idol Competition Semi-finals were held over the weekend. The competition which held auditions in different bars throughout the city, brought 24 contestants together to compete for 12 spots to go on to the finals on June 16. Gay Chicago TV’s Brian Felder and Ro, were there to catch up with some of the contestants.
Don't forget to join the remaining 12 at Sidetrack, for the Windy City Gay Idol finals on June 16 where the 2012 Windy City Idol will be crowned.
Lambda Legal and the ACLU of Illinois are representing more than two dozen lawsuits against the clerk of Cook County David Orr stating that his refusal to offer marriage licenses to same sex couples violates the couples equal protection under the law. This comes one year since the passing of the Illinois Civil union bill last June. The office of Illinois General Attorney Lisa Madigan, filed a notice that it would represent two of these cases and present the court with arguments that current provisions do not guarantee of equality under the state’s constitution. David Orr reportedly supports same sex marriage but opponents believe the ban will be upheld.
California's 4 year legal battle over same-sex marriage is now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday the US 9th Circuit court of Appeals voted against the three judge panel that overturned the voter-approved amendment banning on gay marriage, Proposition 8. The U.S. Supreme court will review the case this fall, which will leave Prop 8 in effect in California until that time. The decision comes at the same time as the First Circuit court ruling that part of DOMA the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal benefits to same-sex married couples, is unconstitutional. This also won’t go into effect until a ruling by the Supreme Court but the two rulings aline the US highest court to make monumental decisions for the future of same sex marriage.
This weekend is shaping up to be a hot and sunny one, so if you are looking to get outside I’ve got a suggestion in this edition of the weekend report.
The Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago is holding this 47th annual Midsommarfest. The early summer fest celebrates the neighborhood€™s Swedish heritage by bringing together great food, music and entertainment for all ages. It The fest starts on Friday and runs through Sunday and don’t forget to swing by the Gay Chicago TV tent to find out how to win a night at the luxurious Hotel Blackhawk in Davenport, Iowa. For more information on the fest Visit Andersonville.org.
And if by Sunday you you’ve had enough sun and are praying for some relief, the Gay and Straight Together Ministry of United in Faith Lutheran Church 6525 W. Irving Park Road, invites all to Summer PRIDE, a film festival dealing with different aspects of homosexuality and faith designed to bring gay and straight together for conversation and understanding. This Sunday June 2 at 2pm they will be screening the documentary Fish out of water. It’s free of charge so visit unitedinfaith.org.

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