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Florida marriage plaintiffs invited to White House Easter Egg Roll

Melanie & Vanessa Alenier, one of the plaintiff couples in the lawsuit for marriage equality in Florida, will be attending the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll with their son. This event, hosted by the First Family, is being held on Monday, April 21.

The event will feature live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. In addition to all of the fun, the day’s activities will encourage children to lead healthy, active lives in support of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative.

In January the Aleniers were one of six couples that joined Equality Florida Institute in filing a lawsuit aimed at allowing same-sex couples to marry in Florida. At the press conference, Vanessa Alenier explained why the couple agreed to be plaintiffs.

“Melanie and I have worked so hard to build and protect our family, but nothing can come close to matching the protections that marriage provides. Our family is in need of those protections just like other families. We want our son to understand that his family is secure and just as respected as any other family in our community here in Florida.”

“We are proud of the Aleniers and their willingness to speak up for all of our families,” said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida.  “We look forward to our day in court, confident that the law will rule on the side of equality and fairness. The majority of Floridians now stand with us. It is time for all families in our state to have full equality under the law.”

You can follow the Easter Egg Roll on Twitter with the hashtag #EasterEggRoll, and watch the event live on WhiteHouse.gov/live.

Register now for Equality and Justice Day on Albany April 29

Thinking of heading to Albany on April 29 for the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Equality & Justice Day? Better act now!

The Rochester bus leaves from Village Gate parking lot, some seats still available but time is running out. $100 basic registration, $45 subsidized by ESPA. Scholarships available for students, low income/unemployed.

Time of departure, registration and scholarship application and more can be found at www.prideagenda.org/ejday. Registration deadline Friday April 18.

Gay Anglican priest marries in defiance of church

cunnington_pembertonx400By Michael O’Loughlin on The Advocate

An Anglican priest married his partner last week, defying his church’s ban on same-sex marriages for clergy members and prompting some Church of England officials to warn of a looming “crisis,” reports London’s Independent.

Rev. Jeremy Pemberton married Laurence Cunnington, ignoring directives from the Church of England that also prohibit Anglican clergy from blessing same-sex unions.

When same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales earlier this year, Archbishop Justin Welby, speaking on behalf of the Church of England’s House of Bishops, released a statement saying, “We are all in agreement that the Christian understanding and doctrine of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman remains unchanged.”

Pemberton, however, told The Mail on Sunday that he simply loved his partner and wanted to marry.

“I love this man and I want to be married to him. That’s what I want. It is the same as anyone who wants to get married,” he said.

According to the Independent, the couple received public support from several pro-LGBT groups and some clergy members as well. Drew Mac, vicar of Sedbergh, wrote on Twitter, “Congratulations and best wishes — and may God bless you too!”

But Rev. Rod Thomas, a conservative member of the General Synod, told The Telegraph that without consequences for Pemberton, the Church of England could face a “crisis.”

“If there is not clear discipline then it is the equivalent to saying ‘we really didn’t mean what we said.’ It will precipitate a crisis,” he said.

Welby recently sparked controversy by suggesting that marriage equality victories in the West were endangering Christians in Africa.

In response, retired U.S. Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop elected in the worldwide Anglican Communion, wrote in the The Daily Beast that such a posturing “lets the murderers win.”

 

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