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Same-sex Couples to Request Marriage Licenses on Valentine’s Day  as Marriage Equality Heads to the U.S. Supreme Court

New York/San Francisco · 13 February 2013 – On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2013 loving, committed same-sex couples, accompanied by their friends and supporters, will ask for marriage licenses as part of Freedom to Marry Week. This is the 15th year in a row that couples have appeared at clerks’ offices across the country to request marriage licenses and to render visible the harm that excluding them from marriage causes them and their families. These annual actions, started by Marriage Equality USA in the mid-90’s, will be taking place this year in San Francisco, CA, Houston, TX, Columbus, OH and many other locales. Information about these events and a list of actions can be found at www.requestmarriage.org.

“President Obama’s inauguration speech included LGBTIQ Americans in a way that was inspiring, powerful and timely. He tied Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall together with the same thread, forever binding the fabric of civil rights across all generations,” stated Brian Silva, Executive Director of Marriage Equality USA. “For the first time in a Presidential inauguration speech, we heard LGBT people included with ‘We the People.’ However, same-sex couples still cannot marry the person they love in the majority of American states. To that end we will once again gather at marriage counters on Valentine’s Day and ask to be issued marriage licenses.”

The 2013 events are sponsored and co-sponsored by a coalition of diverse organizations, including but not limited to GetEQUAL, California Faith for Equality, the Foundation for Family and Marriage Equality in Texas, and the Coalition of Welcoming Congregations.

“Today we go to marriage license counters across the country to tell the stories of our LGBTIQ friends and family; to show that they live in every community and that we want to honor and protect their families just like everyone else,” concluded Pastor Rebecca Harrison, who will lead couples at San Francisco City Hall. “Love makes a marriage and the time for marriage equality is now.”

Rev. Rebecca F. Harrison is a Minister in the Presbyterian Church and a straight ally. Her father was a Presbyterian minister who supported civil rights in the South during the integration of the schools and beyond, so she comes by her inclusive views naturally.

This annual event has never been more important as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear the landmark marriage equality cases.

“Same-sex couples will be asking for marriage licenses on Valentine’s Day, just as briefs in the marriage cases are being filed with the United States Supreme Court. This year, couples will hold hands at the marriage counter with the hope that the Justices will rule on the side of love, so that the court cases can stop and the wedding plans can start,” said John Lewis, Legal Director, Marriage Equality USA.

“The struggle for marriage equality is a critical element in the broader movement for full equality under the law. Denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry undermines their dignity as human beings and excludes them from over 1,000 rights and protections under federal law,” concluded Billy Bradford of Marriage Equality USA and GetEQUAL.

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