In an open letter, City of Houston Mayor Annise Parker wrote:
All across this country people will be sharing Valentines Day with the ones they love. It is a bittersweet observation in the LGBT community, where we yearn for that day when we’ll have the right to marry the ones we love.
My life partner of 20 years and I would love to be able to wed in the state we call home. I know it will happen in my lifetime because the world is changing on LGBT issues. It is amazing to me the progress that we’ve made since my early activist days. At times the pace seems slow. It is also frustrating for those who are waiting, but I know it will happen.
Events like Freedom to Marry Day help bring attention and awareness to the issue. There can be no more positive public influence than a show of commitment between loving couples. Thank you for the work you are doing.
As we continue to wait for that day that I am certain will become reality, I am not going to let one day pass without letting my partner know how much I love her and how blessed I am to have her in my life.
Happy Valentines Day and Happy Freedom to Marry Day!
In Mayor Parker’s city, activists have had a long running tradition. Clergy and faith leaders from numerous religious traditions preside over a mass marriage ceremony of same-sex couples. The event is Texas’ largest and longest running same-sex wedding celebration. But this isn’t the only event you will see come Valentine’s Day.
Freedom to Marry Day events are happening all over the country. In cities like Austin, Texas (just a few hours from Mayor Parker), marriage counter protests will occur. Same-sex couples and allies will be taking up space at the clerk’s office as they request (and are ultimately denied) a marriage license.
The majority of the events are being coordinated between GetEQUAL and Marriage Equality USA with help from grassroots organizers. Others have popped up spontaneously around the country. To find out about events in your area or to add your event, visit http://www.requestmarriage.com.