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ACLU-Santa Cruz: Marriage, Equality and the Law community forum (5/15)
by Jenny Heth
Friday Apr 27th, 2007 10:16 AM
How can we honor and grant legal status to voluntary unions formed by people who love and undertake commitments to one another, without continuing to grant legal status to, and even institutionalize, the practice of discrimination?

Marriage and Equality:
What’s Law Got To Do With It?

SANTA CRUZ, CA, April 26, 2007— The Santa Cruz Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is proud to present MARRIAGE, EQUALITY AND THE LAW, a community forum to be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 7pm at the First Congregational Church, 900 High St., Santa Cruz. Co-sponsors for this event are the First Congregational Church, The Diversity Center, and the GLBT Alliance of Santa Cruz.

Americans have deep convictions about marriage, and about equality before the law. More and more these days, however, these convictions appear to be in conflict. How can we honor and grant legal status to voluntary unions formed by people who love and undertake commitments to one another, without continuing to grant legal status to, and even institutionalize, the practice of discrimination?

The forum features testimonies by Stuart Gaffney and John Lewis who are litigants in the ACLU's case against the State of California for marriage discrimination; and recent UCSC graduates Mary Lunetta and Max Hartman, who have decided not to marry until everybody can.

Panelists include Gail L. Pellerin, Santa Cruz County Clerk; Merrie Schaller, Co-chair of the GLBT Alliance of Santa Cruz County; Bob Correa, Communications Director of The Diversity Center; Rev. Heather Dillashaw, Minister-Family Life and Youth Ministries for the First Congregational Church; and David G. Sweet, Professor Emeritus of Latin American History, UCSC.

Moderated by Rev. Shannon Spencer, Minister for Outreach and Young Adult Ministries for the First Congregational Church, topics to be addressed include: the current state of California marriage law and the handicaps it creates for committed relationships between unmarried and same-sex couples; a reexamination of the Biblical view of marriage; and an argument that the performance of marriage ceremonies by clergy violates the separation of Church from State.