elizabeth--rebecca-lindsey

Elizabeth and Rebecca Lindsay-Ryan were among the half dozen Evanston couples who lined up earlier this week at the County Clerk’s office to be among the first to receive Civil Union Certificates.

Elizabeth and Rebecca Lindsay-Ryan were among the half dozen Evanston couples who lined up earlier this week at the County Clerk’s office to be among the first to receive Civil Union Certificates.

Elizabeth, or “Biz,” (on the left in the photo above) says she and Rebecca, or “Becca,” have been together for a dozen years and had a big ceremony with 220 friends and family eight years ago, declaring themselves “married” long before civil unions were legal in Illinois.

So they’re planning just a small gathering tomorrow with a few friends and the minister who presided over the original ceremony.

Elizabeth told Evanston Now they’ve lived in Evanston since 2003 on the city’s southwest side and are in their second home in town.

“We wanted a community that reflected our values and gave our children exposure to a lot of different families, to not have them be the only children of a gay couple in school,” she says.

Elizabeth and Rebecca have a two-year-old daughter and nine-month-old twins — a boy and a girl.

Both teach at DePaul University’s School for New Learning, which offers undergraduate degree programs to adults.

“Becca teaches a class on non-profit management,” Elizabeth said, “and I teach classes on diversity, gender studies, social movements and social change.”

“We’re very happy to gain the 650 rights provided to married couples under Illinois law by the civil union statute,” she said, “but we’re still waiting for the 1,100 federal rights married couples enjoy that we still don’t have.”

She added that “we’re very fortunate to be surrounded by incredible straight allies who’ve added their voices and stood with us as we’ve fought for equality. We’re so appreciative of them as well as others in the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender] community who’ve been working for the cause.”

(Photo by Genie Lemieux-Jordan of Evanston Photographic Studios.)

Related story

Six Evanston couples in first day civil union throng

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

2 Comments

  1. Congratulations are in order

    Congratulations to the happy couple!  It is long and slow coming, but the U.S. is finally, state by state, getting the message that marriage is the outward and public commitment of two people to love one another and stay together.  Period. 

    Similar to other injustices in our nation's past such as the prohibition of two different races marrying, women not being allowed to vote – or own property, African Americans not being allowed to legally marry, etc. etc. etc., this too is progress for a civil society.  Thanks to all who have tirelessly pursued getting this basic right available to all the people of Illinois.  And, I am proud of the legislators in Illinois for doing the right thing with this very important first step.  Now, I encourage the legislators to finish and give all people ALL of the same rights so we can finally have true gender-neutral equality.


    But now for this couple, and so many like them, is truly a time of celebration. Cheers!

  2. One of the many reasons why I voted for Pat Quinn

    If the evil Millionaire Bill Brady had won, he would have vetoed the bill – if he wasn't busy gassing puppies.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published.