Richmond LGBT folks and their friends are gearing up for the annual Witness for Marriage Equality at noon on Friday, February 12 at the City Marriage License Bureau.
This annual event includes testimonies by marriage equality supporters, a blessing of couples, prayers, and a public commitment to return each year until legal marriage is available to all Virginians.
Why do we do this? Please be clear we are not asking for the right to marry. Indeed, the couples and our families and friends know we are already married. Instead, we are telling local and state authorities that we want them to catch up and fix their laws. Our laws.
This witness harks back to other times in U.S. history when people have confronted their public officials to insist that repressive laws be changed, such as when African Americans went to courthouses to register to vote. We continue a long and honorable tradition of talking back to authority.
As the trial over marriage equality continues in federal court in San Francisco, and as we have experienced some losses in several states – but the law has been changed in Washington, D.C.! – now is the time to stand up. Let no one think we are not determined to see this cause through to success. Everywhere.
The witness will be held at the Richmond City Marriage License Bureau, in the John Marshall Courts Building, 400 North 9th Street (just north of Marshall Street). People will begin gathering at 11:30 am and the official witness begins at noon.
If you want to participate, help organize, or help publicize this important civil rights event, please contact me at RevRobinG@MCCRichmond.org or call me at 804/519-3196.
Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond (MCC), the Gay Community Center of Richmond (GCCR), People of Faith for Equality in Virginia (POFEV) and First Unitarian Church of Richmond are co-sponsors of the Witness for Marriage Equality.
This year’s event is part of a weekend, “Love, Equality Style,” that includes events sponsored by MCC and GCCR. Those events include a Valentine’s Dance at GCCR on February 13 and two performances by Jason & de Marco, a gay male singing couple at MCC Richmond on February 14. More information about these events is available at www.MCCRichmond.org or www.gayrichmond.com or on GayRVA.
Rev. Dr. Robin H. Gorsline is President of People of Faith for Equality in Virginia, an interfaith organization of gay and straight clergy and lay people working for equality for LGBT Virginians. Read more of his thoughts on faith and spirituality on his personal blog.