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The Largest LGBT Wedding Reception in Virginia

Marriage Equality, Equality Virginia

Equality Virginia hosts their 12th annual Commonwealth Dinner

As we wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the issue of marriage equality, 37 states and Washington D.C. already have the freedom to marry. Just five months ago, that wasn’t the case. Just five months ago, on October 6, 2014, Virginia became the first southern state to gain the freedom to marry.

Since October, wedding bells have been ringing from the Appalachian Mountains to the shores of the Chesapeake. Some have called 2014 the single-most pivotal year for marriage equality this country has experienced to date. In some ways, 2014 – and the journey Virginians experienced as we moved toward the freedom to marry – seems like a long time ago. Time has a way of tricking us, and sometimes it is easy to forget that:

  • It was just 14 months ago that recently elected Attorney General Mark Herring announced, “I cannot and will not defend laws that violate Virginians rights…the commonwealth will be siding with the plaintiffs in this case and with every other Virginia couple whose right to marry is being denied.” Equality loving Virginians applauded when Herring said he’d make sure that this time Virginia would stand on the right side of history, and on the right side of the law.
  • It was just 13 months ago that proponents for marriage equality rallied in Norfolk, huddled together in sub-zero weather and bone chilling wind, holding signs and talking to the media about why marriage matters.
  • It was just over a year ago – around 10 p.m. the evening before Valentine’s Day – when Federal Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled Virginia’s marriage ban unconstitutional, giving Virginians hope and momentum. This was a big turning point!
  • It was just 10 months ago when hundreds of Virginians joined Equality Virginia in Richmond in the heat of a 90-degree sunny day to rally in the name of love and equality outside the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • And, it was just five months ago that Virginia became the first southern state to gain the freedom to marry! 

Marriage equality is an important part of Virginia’s history, and that is why Equality Virginia will be celebrating the Freedom to Marry at their Commonwealth Dinner on April 18. Joining Equality Virginia will be over 1,000 supporters of Virginia’s LGBTQ community, the plaintiff couples who led the charge, and political allies that helped make the freedom to marry in the commonwealth a reality.

“This is the time to recognize the work that so many Virginians have put into this fight for decades, some of whom never got to see this day,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia. “We will honor everybody’s hard work and celebrate this special time in history by throwing one big wedding reception for Virginia.”

The Commonwealth Dinner is Virginia’s largest gathering for the LGBTQ community and its supporters, and is Equality Virginia’s largest annual fundraiser. To learn more about this event, click here: www.equalityvirginia.org/dinner.