Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

May 1, 2014

March for Marriage Equality set

TRAVERSE CITY — Local same-sex couples are waiting along with the rest of the state to see if and when they’ll be able to legally marry.

U.S. District Court Judge Bernard Friedman struck down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage March 21, but the U.S. Appeals Court for the Sixth Circuit agreed to stay the decision a day later.

No same-sex couples in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska or Leelanau counties were married in the small window when it was legal for them to do so.

Members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse’s Social Justice Action committee want to do more than wait for the issue to make its way through the U.S. court system.

The committee partnered with local gay and lesbian support groups to organize the March for Marriage Equality walk through downtown Traverse City Thursday. All are welcome to participate.

“This is an inclusive, multifaith, multigroup effort for concern and care,” committee chair Emmy Lou Cholak said.

The walk is about education and community support. Cholak said organizers want the community to understand that the issue hits home to many in the Grand Traverse region.

“Many people know people who live down the street or have relatives who are in gay relationships that may not be 100 percent supported by their family or by the block,” Cholak said. “We can give each other support and we can give each other caring. There’s just so much you can do to help someone else by saying kind words.”

Committee members and other supporters invite the public to meet them at 4:45 p.m. Thursday at Legion Park on Cass and Washington streets to organize. They’ll then walk downtown from 5-6 p.m. in support of same-sex marriages.

“We’ll walk around downtown and carry our signs to make a statement that love is universal and everyone should have a chance to enjoy it, each in their own way,” Cholak said.

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