At noon on Monday, for the eighth consecutive year, Robin Gorsline and husband Jonathan (both contributors GayRVA.com), will apply for their marriage license at the John Marshall Courts Building.
“I personally do not believe that the state marries anybody. People marry each other,” Gorsline says. ”What the state does is throws rights on people. They’re denying people rights.”
Each year same-sex couples and their heterosexual counterparts remind Virginia that gay and lesbian people want their marriages recognized by law.
“Jonathan and I have been married for 13 years,” he says. ”Will the state confer or continue to deny benefits?”
The event is a joint effort by People of Faith For Equality, Metropolitan Community Church, and First Unitarian Church will witness for equality at the John Marshal Courts Building
I know in my heart that it’s going to happen,” Gorsline says. We always have striaght couples that support us too.
Gorsline and his partner first witnessed in New York on Valentine’s Day in 2003 – just months before moving to Richmond. It’s MCC founder Troy Perry that encouraged each church to host this annual event. Perry has been advocating for marriage equality since 1970.
Just three years ago in Richmond, the clerk of the city court began filing the documents – although not official, he said he would hold onto them for historical record.
“In the past two years, he’s said it’s going to happen and we will be honored when it does,” Gorsline says.
In recent years, several couples that have been legally married in another jurisdiction will submit copies of their marriage certificates to the clerk. Gorsline, pastor at MCC Richmond, has also seen a trend of people wanting a church service locally and be legally married by a justice of the peace in Washington, DC.
“It’s going to be an ever-increasing movement as more people choose to do that,” he says. ”They’ll say I’m married there, it’s legitimately legal, I want the Commonwealth to recognize.”
“It’s in your heart to marry the person of your dreams and the state can’t take that away from you.”