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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Get Equal - This is our lunch counter moment

In 1960, four freshmen from the North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College in Greensboro, NC, sat down at a Woolworth lunch counter and created one of the most iconic images of the civil rights movement. It took six months, but these brave young men and the activists who joined them brought to light just one of the clear markers of discrimination that African-American women and men experienced throughout the United States.
And, 51 years later, we respectfully and humbly are trying to follow their lead.
Across this country, LGBT Americans who wish to marry their partners are refused that right. Thankfully, there are heroes among us who have been taking action on marriage equality in creative ways for decades -- and, this year, GetEQUAL is partnering with Marriage Equality USA to go directly to just one of the sources of government-sanctioned discrimination to take action at marriage counters across the country on February 14...Valentine's Day!
What lengths would you go to in order to get married or to fight for the freedom to marry for those you care about? Would you take a few hours of your time to turn out for one of the events being organized next week? Read these amazing and heartbreaking stories of those called to action:
- Ed and Scott: From their home in the inequality state of Missouri, Ed and Scott organize periodic bus trips to Iowa, where marriage equality is currently the law of the land. They're taking another trip next week for Valentine's Day, which will bring their marriage total to 100 couples! [see video below]
- Brian and Anton: Doing all they can to turn a tragic story around, Brian and Anton are fighting for their relationship. Anton is scheduled to be deported to Indonesia on Valentine's Day -- a country that is hostile to LGBT citizens and where Brian cannot follow him. [1]
- Mark and Dante: Mark (a GetEQUAL board member) and his now-husband Dante wanted to get married, but didn't want to have to leave their home state of Texas to do so. Through the magic of the internet, Mark and Dante celebrated their marriage with friends and family in Dallas, while their officiant had her feet firmly planted in Washington, DC, where marriage equality is alive and well!
- Gina and Katie: Over the course of the past four years, Gina and Katie have maintained a long-distance relationship between the U.S. and the U.K. because same-sex bi-national couples are not extended the same rights as heterosexual couples. As the daughter of a bi-racial couple, as a child Gina's family was forced to move across the country when her parents relationship was also not recognized by their government. Now Gina is taking action in an effort to avoid having to leave her job, family, friends, and everything she knows in order to be with the person she loves.
While our lives remain a political football, and the President continues to "struggle" with his views on the validity of our relationships, these equality heroes are doing everything they can to own their equality as they help bring a little more love into the world.
We can't expect the lunch counters of the past to speak for the marriage counters of the present -- it is our responsibility to highlight the urgent injustice of being treated less than equal. Many will tell us that we should just be patient -- but we believe that love trumps patience. Will you join us in taking action?
Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!
Robin McGehee, Director
[1] Help Brian and Anton in their last-ditch effort for Anton to stay in the country at
GetEQUAL icon

HEARTLAND TRANSPORT from Cody Stokes on Vimeo.


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