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Valentine's Day marriage equality civil protest in Richmond tomorrow

Rev. Robin Gorsline (left) and his partner Dr. Jonathan Lebolt took part in last year’s marriage rally. The pastor will do it again on Valentine’s Day, holding a group holy union at the marriage bureau. Right: The history and impact of Virginia’s repressive laws are in a great article on the web site. With a video camera and laptop, local artist Suzanne Moe made a film about a Virginia couple that feels forced to leave the state because of its discriminatory legislation.

Virginia is a state seemingly powerless to stop the advance of the religious Right influence on its laws. To pour salt in the wounds of the gay community, Virginia is likely to pass, on Feb. 26, legislation allowing custom license plates with interlocking gold wedding bands superimposed over a red heart over the legend “Traditional Marriage.” Virginia’s Affirmation of Marriage Act was amended in the 2004 session to prohibit a civil union, partnership contract or “other arrangement between persons of the same sex purporting to bestow the privileges or obligations of marriage.” It’s on the fast track to amend its constitution as well.

To make a statement on what Virginia’s plans to deny its gay citizens, tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, a peaceful demonstration organized by the local Metropolitan Church of Richmond will be held at the city’s Marriage Bureau. One was held last year; an article on that event is here.

Answering the call from Rev. Elder Troy D. Perry, Founder and Moderator of UFMCC, members of the Social Justice Committee of the Metropolitan Church of Richmond (MCCRVA) are organizing Marriage Equality events on Valentine’s Day, Monday, February 14, 2005. They will be joined by allies from other groups, and justice-minded individuals. Ministry members hope many from the church and LGBT community will participate. At 12:00 noon, ten or more same-sex couples will apply for marriage licenses at the Richmond Marriage Bureau, for which they expect to be refused. After this, the couples will take turns speaking to assembled supporters, both LGBTQ and heterosexual, about rights which the couples have been denied because of marriage inequality.Then Pastor Robin and other clergy will perform a group holy union. All persons are welcome to participate, not just couples. The entire effort needs a large number of supporters. Then, 6:00 pm, participants and supporters will celebrate the event with a dinner at MCC Richmond.

Left: Virginia legislative delegate and homophobe L. Scott Lingamfelter, is winning the fight to get “traditional marriage” on license plates to enhance his sense of sexual orientation. Del. Robert G. Marshall, is one of the ass-clowns pushing the hate amendment. Right: Delegate Mitchell Van Yahres wants to repeal the law in place that prevents recognition of same-sex couples, but doesn’t see enough support for the measure.

Thanks to House Blend reader Chris, who received advance word of this event.

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