Demonstration planned for February 13
by Bradley Donalson
As mid-February approaches, same-sex couples across Texas are bitterly reminded that they are not seen as equals under the law in our state. According to CNN statistics, in 2013, an estimated six million people were either planning or expecting a marriage proposal on Valentine’s Day. With the recent wave of marriage equality victories in federal courts, the number of states who refuse to recognize same-sex marriages is down to 11, but Texas is one of those holdouts.
In response to this, a coalition of Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc., Epsilon Xi Gamma, Inc., and Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church are planning a protest. On February 13 at 11 a.m., advocates for marriage equality will meet outside the Harris County Clerk’s Office on Carolina Street. They will carry signs demanding marriage equality in Texas, demonstrating on the steps of the Clerk’s Office. At noon, same-sex couples will apply for marriage licenses and, in accordance to Texas law, they will be denied. After this rejection, the couples will rejoin the crowd and proceed to march to City Hall where a rally will take place on the steps facing the reflecting pool.
Legal marriage in America immediately provides 1,138 federal protections to the spouses, but this expediency is denied to same-sex couples. If a same-sex couple tries to secure these protections, it is a lengthy and costly legal struggle. With public approval of marriage equality on the rise (59 percent of nationwide voters according to a July 2014 Freedom to Marry poll), it is time for Texas to start to recognize all of its citizens. Delta Phi Upsilon, Epsilon Xi Gamma, and the Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church hope that you will come down to the Clerk’s Office and City Hall in order to help make our voices heard.
Delta Phi Upsilon, Inc. was founded on January 15, 1985. Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc.’s mission is to improve the public stature of same-gender-loving people by supporting a progressive interest in the social and civic welfare of our community through the promotion of unity, educational advancement, and community service. www.dphiu.org
Epsilon Xi Gamma, Inc., founded October 27, 2010, is an order built for lesbian-identifying women and their allies regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or racial background. The goal of Epsilon Xi Gamma is to promote unity, celebrate all the diverse beauty of women achievers, and create an excellent culture of LGBT-geared service and support. www.excellence-is.org
Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, founded in 1972, is one of the largest congregations within Metropolitan Community Churches, a Christian denomination with churches in more than 35 countries. The church is widely known for its positive, affirming ministry to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, along with their friends, families, and allies, and for its strong commitment to social justice. www.ResurrectionMCC.org