Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's LGBT History Month: Celebrate Marriage Equality at St. Mark's Presbyterian

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 9:36 AM

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Tucson's St. Mark's Presbyterian Church wants you to come party with them in the name of marriage equality. 

On Sunday, the congregation invites the public to come down to More Light Sunday, where there will be a celebration for the progress the country's made with same-sex marriage laws. More than half of the U.S. has legalized it. 

More than 200 churches are part of the More Light Presbyterian. The church recently amended its constitution to define marriage between two people. The positive progress nationally toward marriage equality inspired the theme of the party to be "abundance."

"We are a faith community that is willing to take risks for progress on social justice. Since the founding of St. Mark’s we have embraced advocacy on behalf of civil rights... shelter for vulnerable women and children, the Sanctuary Movement, justice and safety for immigrants, and the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church and society. Our commitment to justice is in our DNA," the church's website says. 

The service begins at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mark's, 3809 E. 3rd Street. It also can't hurt that our own Reveille Men's Chorus and Desert Voices will sign a few tunes.

Same-sex couples in Arizona have been allowed to wed since Oct. 17, 2014.

Here's a bit of what Mari Herrera's wrote about that day on This is What Equality Looks Like:
After state after state had anti-same-sex marriage laws declared unconstitutional, Arizona that morning became the 32nd state to have a U.S. District Court judge rule its same law also unconstitutional. At that point, the only perceived holdup was the state.

Would state Attorney General Tom Horne appeal? Supposedly we wouldn't know until Monday, when Horne was expected to have a press conference. In what seemed like an uncharacteristic reality check at the Capitol up north, Horne's press conference was rescheduled to late Friday morning to announce there would be no appeal and that counties across the state could start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately.

Ready. Set. Go.

I call the Pima County Office of the Clerk, and the clerk who answers the phone says happily and breathlessly, "Yes, today, people can come down right now and get licenses. Isn't this exciting?," With phones ringing in the background, he has to go, dozens of people are calling asking the same thing, and "Can we come down today and get a marriage license?"

The county, in anticipation that a federal judge would soon overturn Arizona's anti-marriage equality law after the 9th Circuit ruled earlier in the month that similar laws in Idaho and Nevada were unconstitutional, had said it could have new licenses with spouse replacing husband and wife on new licenses printed up as soon as Monday, Oct. 20.

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