Same-sex marriage education campaign kicks off

Gay rights activists react outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC on June 26, 2013. Credit: Getty Images
Gay rights activists react outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC on June 26, 2013. Credit: Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania and Freedom to Marry jointly launched a public education campaign today to build support for same sex couples to marry in Pennsylvania.

“The more people are talking about it,” said Melissa Morris, campaign manager for Why Marriage Matters PA, “they will start to grow more support throughout the state. We just really want to start talking about why marriage is important.”

Litigation has been going on for some time and Morris admits that realistically, if things move, it won’t be for another two years. An ACLU lawsuit that asks the state to not only recognizes same-sex couples but also to allow them to marry will go to trial on June 9 next year.

“There’s the potential that the Supreme Court could hear the decision,” Morris said. “If we were to win federally, it would be a win for the United States.”

Local supporters who spoke at an event announcing the kickoff this morning include Mayor Michael Nutter;Rev. Jeffrey Haskins of Unity Fellowship of Christ Church; Ted Martin, executive director of Equality Pennsylvania; Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU Pennsylvania; Shawn Werner, director of political operations at Freedom to Marry; and Helena Miller and Dara Raspberry, plaintiffs in the ACLU’s marriage equality lawsuit, Whitewood v. Wolf.

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