Monday, November 4, 2013

Rally for Marriage Equality Set for Thursday in Easton

A rainbow bridge is the symbol being used for the
"Bridge the Gap for Marriage Equality" rally that will be held
this coming Thursday in Easton.
Facebook page image

 By Christina Georgiou

Supporters of marriage equality will gather on Thursday, November 7 at 5:30 p.m. in Easton's Centre Square to advocate for changing state law to allow same-sex couples to legally wed in Pennsylvania.

The "Bridge the Gap for Marriage Equality" rally will be followed by a march across the free bridge to New Jersey, where a  ban against same-sex marriage were recently overturned. Participants will  witness and celebrate the weddings of  Marcus Laurence and William Mauro, Jerry Schmidt and Chuck Woodbury, and Jennifer and Maryann Kelly, which will all be officiated by Rev. Beth Goudy of the  Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley.

Weather permitting, the ceremonies will be held in Riverside Park in Phillipsburg, NJ. They are believed to be the first same-sex marriages performed in the town, though all three couples are Pennsylvania residents.

Adrian Shanker, president of Equality Pennsylvania and organizer of the event, will speak at the rally, joined by Easton Mayor Sal Panto, Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, Lehigh County Executive Matt Croslis, and Pennsylvania Diversity Network Executive Director Liz Bradbury.

Also expected to speak are Easton City Councilwoman El Warner, the only openly gay legislator in the Lehigh Valley, Michele Kessler, secretary-treasurer for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776, Executive Director of Garden State Equality Troy Stevenson, and Rabbi Melody Davis of Temple Covenant of Peace in Easton.

"The rally is to celebrate the New Jersey decision and to remind Pennsylvania that we're losing money every day (by continuing to deny same-sex couples the right to marry)," Shanker said. "We can literally see New Jersey from Pennsylvania, and we can walk across the bridge and get married...The reality is, it's time for Pennsylvania to embrace equality."

More information can be found on the "Bridge the Gap for Marriage Equality" Facebook page.

Updated at 11:34 p.m.

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