OpEd: Virginia’s marriage equality victory belongs to us all
It did not take Virginians long to run to the altars after the Supreme Court announcement hit the airwaves.
One ceremony in particular that garnered particular media attention was the renewal of marriage vows for Carol Schall and Mary Townley by VA Attoreny General Mark Herring.
The Richmond area couple were one of two couples who represented LGBTQ Virginians in court in the fight against marriage inequality in Virginia.
Hardly a eye was dry as the crowd watched the couple renew vows taken a few years ago in another state. And how very appropriate that AG Herring led the ceremony. His leadership has been a true catalyst in bringing marriage equality to Virginia.
Also attending was the couple’s 17-year old daughter, Emily, who eloquently addressed the crowd prior to the ceremony. Standing in solidarity with the Attorney General were Hiouse of Delegates member Betsy Carr; Richmond Clerk of Court, Edward F. Jewitt; Congressman Robert Scott and Senator A. Donald McEachin.
Later that day, another local couple exchanged vows and rings before friends and media at the New York Deli in Carytown. The wedding of Shirley Lessor and India Lipton was a dream come true for the couple who also have a young son.
Both Shirley and India have been forerunners in the campaign for marriage equality in Virginia, often sharing their family’s story with the media. The ceremony was conducted by the Reverend Robin Goresline, another pioneer in the Virginia movement. Portions of the ceremony aired live on all three local television stations during their 6PM news broadcasts.
This has been no small fete and not a victory belonging to any one couple, organization or individual. It has been a long time coming, beginning generations ago when our movement was in its infancy.
As we celebrate (and we should) let us not forget those who bravely walked before when bodily harm and sometimes even death were a reality for our movement.
Let us also not forget that it is still legal in Virginia to discriminate against sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring and firing practices and housing.
The battle continues.
We shall see true victory only when all discrimination is eliminated. And that victory is on our horizons. Just watch the sun. You will see.
We need to stay in tune with what the community needs from us…I don’t want someone to hesitate on giving us constructive criticism.”February 1, 2017
- Diversity Richmond President honored along with mayor elect Stoney at TD event, December 8, 2016
- Diversity Richmond President Bill Harrison shares stories of early gay Richmond’s bar scene with local NPR, June 17, 2016
- Crowds pack Diversity Richmond Tuesday night to remember the victims of Orlando shooting, June 15, 2016
- Prev New Calvin Harris album drops Nov. 4th; set booties to ‘shake’
- Next Anti-marriage equality all stars react to SCOTUS decision (as told through Star Wars comparisons)
- Back to top
ACLU Babe's of Carytown Bob Marshall Carytown Discrimination Diversity Richmond DOMA Equality Virginia Fan Free Clinic Featured Fourth Friday GA 2016 gallery Gay Community Center of Richmond GCCR Godfrey's History HRC Human Rights Campaign Lesbian LGBT LGBTQ LGBT Rights Mark Herring Marriage Equality movie reviews Movies music Nations North Carolina Obama Photos Richmond Richmond Triangle Players ROSMY rva theater RVA theatre Same-Sex Marriage Transgender transgender bathroom use tv jerry University of Richmond VA Pride VCU video
- National LGBTQ campaign group backs transgender candidate in race against author of Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban
- Diversity Richmond addresses Chesterfield Police community meeting
- Plunge into the depths of high school female relationships in TheatreLAB’s production of ‘Dry Land’
- Brian Burns returns with new book detailing RVA’s history of income inequality, homosexuality and Maymont owner’s use of convict labor
- Proud lesbian, cult survivor and nurse – Chelsea Savage looks to capture Virginia House seat