Thursday, February 12, 2009

National Freedom to Marry Day: Same-Sex Couples Engage in National Marriage Counter Actions

On National Freedom to Marry Day, Thursday, February 12, 2009, at local marriage counters in cities all over the country, same-sex couples will request marriage licenses at their local County Clerk’s Offices to raise awareness of the harms and impact the inability to marry causes on their families.

“This feels like ground hog year in California,” said Molly McKay, Marriage Equality USA Media Director, “It was this time last year when we looked to the State Supreme Court to declare marriage equality the law of the land and here we are again, veil in hand, asking the State Supreme Court to protect the minority against the tyranny of the majority and stand for fairness for all. Over 18,000 same-sex couples married in California last year. We had hoped to retire this annual action once and for all, but alas…we lost our fundamental right to marry the person we love by a 2% vote of the majority and until Proposition 8 is repealed, we are back to the marriage counters to once again highlight the discrimination that the county clerk must enforce for now. I’m thankful to be married, but afraid that our lives are once again on the chopping block. When will this end, so we can just all live our happily ever afters and move on with our lives?”

“Whether we are married, domestic partnered, civil unioned or legal strangers under our particular state law, all same-sex couples are denied the 1,138 federal rights of marriage,” said Amy Balliett, founder of Join the Impact. “With the support of President Obama and with the growing sea change towards supporting protections for same-sex couples, we are hopeful that we can finally turn our attention to overturning the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, and work together to uphold the American tradition of fairness and equality by ending marriage discrimination once and for all.”

“Since 2001, Marriage Equality USA chapters have engaged in these annual marriage counter actions to render visible the discrimination that is enforced every day. It is an affront to our basic dignity as fellow human beings when same-sex couples are turned away from the marriage counter, but it gives us the opportunity to tell our stories and show that we live in every community and want to honor and protect our families like everyone else,” said McKay. “Marriage discrimination is wrong and harms real-life families. All Americans deserve equal treatment under the law. The time has come.”

For a list of marriage counter actions happening across the country on Freedom to Marry Week go to Marriage Equalityand/or Join the Impact.

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