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MCCLV Freedom to Marry Court House Action 2008

Click here to see a photo album of the rally and licence action.
Click here to view a TV News video of the day in English
Click here to view a TV News video of the day in Spanish
(Follow the link and click on "watch video.")

Click here to read an article and see video from the Express Times

FTM3
CLICK HERE TO SEE A PHOTO ALBUM OF THE FREEDOM TO MARRY CELEBRATION AT MCC ON FEBRUARY 9TH

Below is a letter from Reverend Elizabeth Goudy of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Lehigh Valley about the 2008 Freedom to Marry Events.

Dear Friends,

Greetings and I hope this finds you WELL and WARM...

I am writing to invite you to participate in MCCLV's annual
Freedom to Marry Day Courthouse Action on Friday, February 8 at 11
a.m. at 5th and Hamilton Streets in Allentown.

The event is for all people who support marriage equality.

You may think, well, MCCLV does this every year and it does not
seem to make a difference, as same-gender couples continue to be
denied the right to marry in Pennsylvania.

It DOES make a difference: standing up and being counted as a
person supportive of equality is a bold action to take in life.

There are plenty of people who will take a stand against equality
in marriage. For instance, last week I received an invitation to
participate in an anti-same-sex marriage organizing meeting that
is happening this weekend. The group advocates marriage for "one
man and one woman" only and is meeting at a local Lehigh Valley
church. And then today I received a follow-up phone call from the
organization, again inviting me to participate. I am passing along
this information to you because it's important for everyone to
know that there are people making EVERY effort to ensure that
same-gender couples do not have equality in marriage.

For those who identify as Christian, it is especially important
that equality is embraced! Too many people who name themselves as
Christian want marriage to be an exclusive and unequal
institution. The great conviction of Jesus was that all people are
equally valued - the beloved community is to include ALL people.
Spiritual growth is not about excluding more and more people, it's
about INCLUDING more and more people.

The Lehigh Valley GLBTA community can make a strong showing on
February 8 - we can stand together and be counted as people who
have a vision for a more inclusive world. Will you join in?

48 pink scarves have been lovingly knitted by PFLAG Mom Melinda
Kohn and are available for all participants to wear on the 8th.
The pink scarves will unify our group and they really are
fabulous.

Bring a friend, bring a family member - all are welcome. If you
are in a relationship and want to advocate by applying for a
license, let the church know at info@mcclv.org

Your participation is needed on the 8th! Thank you for standing up
and being counted!

Peace,
Beth

ARE FEBRUARY 8 & 9 ON YOUR CALENDAR?

Join MCCLV for it's 8th annual celebration of National Freedom to
Marry Day!

February 8
Courthouse Action
11 a.m.
5th & Hamilton Streets
Allentown, PA
Pink scarf provided to you

February 9
Interfaith Worship Service
Reception & Dance
7 p.m.
At MCCLV: 4th & Whitehall Streets
Allentown, PA

Co-sponsors include PFLAG, PA Diversity and Renaissance. Invite
your friends and family to participate!


For more details, see below:

Friday, February 8, 2008
11 a.m. Marriage License applications at the Lehigh County
Courthouse
5th & Hamilton Streets
Allentown, PA

In an effort to advocate for marriage equality, same-sex couples
will apply for marriage licenses at the Courthouse. All supporters
of marriage equality are asked to gather at the Courthouse to
celebrate the value of gay and lesbian families!

48 pink scarves have been knitted by PFLAG Mom Melinda Kohn. All
participants will receive a pink scarf to wear as a symbol of our
unity on the issue of marriage equality.

Same-sex couples cannot get Social Security benefits if their
spouse dies. A same-sex spouse will pay more than twice the
inheritance tax than an opposite-sex spouse would pay. Hospital
visitation, medical decision-making, home ownership and adoption
are much more difficult for same-sex couples to obtain compared to
opposite-sex couples. Currently, there are 1,400 federal rights
and 700 state civil marriage rights that gay and lesbian families
are denied. Please join in this Courthouse action to bring
attention to the need for marriage equality.

Couples that participate are asked to have been together for at
least one year and be okay with media coverage. You will be denied
a license but will have taken a stand for social justice.

Couples must bring the following:

- - A Social Security card and a photo driver's license or photo
ID. If a non-U.S. citizen, a greencard, passport or birth
certificate in addition to photo ID.

- - If previously legally married and divorced, a certified copy
of the divorce decree is required (available in the county where
the divorce occurred).

- - If previously legally married and spouse died, a copy of the
death certificate, published obituary, published funeral notice or
funeral card is required.

- - $35 in cash. No checks or credit cards. Non-refundable!

- - If a same-sex couple does not want to pay the filing fee,
MCCLV asks that the process below be followed: Enter the Marriage
License office, share that you are a same-sex couple, ask if you
will receive a license (the clerk will say "no") and then say,
"see you next year."

- - Couples that want to spend the money to file and be a part of
the historical record may do so. If there is a file in Lehigh
County that has a growing number of denials of marriage licenses
for same-sex couples, it is a concrete statement that we exist, we
want equal rights and that we are being denied those rights on
paper. No one can say, "gay people don't really want to get
married anyway" (and that is what some anti-gay groups say).

- - FYI: You do not need to be a resident of Lehigh County to
apply at the Lehigh County Courthouse.

To participate, please contact MCCLV at 610-709-8800 or
info@mcclv.org