Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lesbians wed as Bush urges ban

How come NONE of these women can marry men?


-akindele

13 couples mix love, politics in Ferndale nuptials

June 4, 2006

BY PEGGY WALSH-SARNECKI

FREE PRESS EDUCATION WRITER

Thirteen lesbian couples were married Saturday on the front lawn of Ferndale City Hall, barely an hour after President George W. Bush used his weekly national radio address to urge Congress to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"We wanted to do this today because we share our love, and we wanted to share it with others," Imani Williams of Detroit said after marrying Jocelyn Bellamy.

This was the third year lesbian marriages were celebrated in front of Ferndale's city offices. The banner above the couples read: "To love, honor and be recognized."

Pamphlets urging a no vote on the federal marriage amendment were available on the same table as their marriage licenses.

"It's a nice, sunny, wonderful day, and we could share it with 12 other couples," Williams said of why she and Bellamy participated in the public ceremony. "But in terms of solidarity, that's important, too. Our love is serious. It isn't a game."

Last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved along party lines a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The largely Republican-supported bill, which would require a two-thirds vote of the full Senate, is given little chance of passing if some Democrats can't be brought on board.

Democrats have accused the Republicans of using the bill as a stunt to shore up election year support among conservatives. Recent court decisions in California, New York, Washington and Maryland have supported same-sex marriages.

"Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all," Bush said Saturday.

But the president's comments made no difference to the couples gathered in Ferndale on Saturday.

Tori and Carreanne Prevo came from Alpena to be married in Ferndale.

"I'm a transgender and before I complete my transition, we wanted to be married. ... This seemed like a way to do it, and we could both wear dresses," said Tori Prevo, who plans to transition into a woman. "Once I transition, we won't be able to get married because we'll be the same sex."

Melanie Mullen, in a dark suit, said love and commitment were the driving forces behind her marriage to Lauren Nunez. But the Royal Oak couple also was mindful of the politics.

"It's a lot harder for gays, lesbians, transgenders to get married," said Nunez, in a burgundy satin dress. "We have to strive harder to stay legal."

"Hopefully, one day the federal government will accept us just as much as Ferndale does," Mullen said.

After marrying Ebony Bradley, Tonya Renee Archie said, "We wanted to make a commitment to each other and express our love." Both are of Highland Park.

I guarantee you these women who marry each other cannot stay committed to one another without practicing their sexual immoral behavior elsewhere.

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