Kudos to Cville Pride, Sojourners UCC, and many friends who went to the Charlottesville and Albemarle County Courthouses on Wednesday, March 5, to mark the beginning of Lent with a witness to support the rights of Andre Hakes and Catherine Gillespie to have a marriage license and the rights of all couples to have their relationships recognized in Virginia. With cameras rolling, Andre and Catherine requested a marriage license and chocolates were shared to show that love abounds.
Thanks to both the Charlottesville Clerk of Court Llezelle Dugger and Albemarle Clerk of Court Debra Shipp, who expressed their regrets that they did not have the legal power to issue a license to Andre and Catherine, but said they would be very pleased to do so as soon as Virginia allowed.
More pictures of this wonderful witness are available at the Cville Pride Facebook page! Thank you to the wonderful Charlottesville community for supporting marriage equality! Thanks to Cville Pride for posting and sharing this photo by Lisa Green on Facebook!
Thanks to the engagement of congregations and individuals all across the Commonwealth, the Valentine's Day 2014 Witness for LOVE! was a wonderful success. Despite the snow, hundreds of witnesses turned out at eleven courthouses across the Commonwealth to support more than twenty couples who sought marriage licenses or recognition of their existing legal marriages. Witnesses at twelve more courthouses that were closed by the weather had to be postponed but will be rescheduled soon.
The day was made more jubilant by the Valentine's Eve announcement of U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen's eloquent opinion striking down Virginia's marriage discrimination laws as violations of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At many Witnesses, sections of the opinion were read and greeted with applause and cheers.
We have posted media coverage of Witness for LOVE!, pictures, and stories on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/POFEV and will be updating Facebook and this webpage in the coming days with more news about the witnesses. Please check both places for updates, an announcement of when we will reschedule the witnesses postponed by the snow, and other events planned to continue our Witness for LOVE! In the meantime, please enjoy the videos and pictures here that help begin to tell the story of Witness for LOVE!
We need your support to help more communities Witness for LOVE!
Donate to POFEV to grow our campaign for marriage and LGBT equality.
Make the difference Virginia needs!
Just click the triangle below to go to our donation form:
After a successful day of Witness for LOVE! events on Valentine's Day across the state, we are continuing to Witness for LOVE! near you!
If you don't find an event nearby, contact us at email@example.com for more information.
March 9, 2014
"My name is Edward Doss, and I am a Witness for LOVE!!"
Building Change: Inside and Out
by Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsine, POFEV President & CEO
January 6, 2014
The General Assembly of Virginia begins its 60-day session this week on January 8. A few days later, on January 11, the new Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General will take office.
It is an exciting time to be in Richmond--and an important time. POFEV will be there (and we hope you will be there, too).
AND, and this is a big AND, we will be all over Virginia organizing for Witness for LOVE on February 14. . . . READ MORE
Good News of Great Joy for ALL the People
by Rev. Steve Hyde, Pastor
Ravensworth Baptist Church, Annandale
Last Saturday, I officiated at a wedding for two men, Richard and Mark. For me, it was a Peter the Apostle and Cornelius the Centurion moment.
In the 10th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, an angel appears to Cornelius--a Roman centurion--and tells him to summon Peter to his home in Caesarea. Peter is in Joppa, and while the messengers are on their way, the unsuspecting apostle goes up to the rooftop to pray. His message from heaven arrives in a vision, as Peter falls into a trance and is given a clear message that he is not to consider unclean what God considers clean.
Peter’s arrival at the home of Cornelius sets the stage for one of the most dramatic moments in the New Testament. For Peter to step across the doorstep of Cornelius and enter the home of a Gentile is momentous. We might wonder, “So what’s the big deal?” . . . ..READ MORE
We love to help publicize events taking place in or being sponsored by faith communities and faith-based organizations across Virginia that help promote equality and understanding. You can read more about such events your and other communities have held here. If you have events that you would like us to help publicize, please let us know by sending us a message from our contact form here or calling Robin Gorsline at 804-519-3196.
We now have regular clergy lunches in Northern Virginia, the Richmond area, and in Hampton Roads. Recent lunches have included a discussion on the topic "What If My Congregation Isn't Ready"? in Alexandria, a session with Kirsten Bokenkamp of Equality Virginia in Arlington, and get-to-know-one-another sessions in Richmond and Norfolk.
The first two Hampton Roads/Tidewater area lunches were held on November 21 at New Life Metropolitan Community Church in Norfolk on January 9 at Hilton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Newport News, the congregation of new POFEV Board member Rev. Terrye Williams.
At the November 21 lunch, we had a wonderful if unexpected celebration. Our host Rev. Mark Byrd (center in picture), newly elected Pastor at New Life MCC was interrupted by the arrival of a team from Old Dominion University to present Mark with this year's "ODU Diversity Champion Award." Read More
At Charlottesville Pride on September 14, Robin Gorsline with Virginia marriage equality plaintiffs Joanne Harris and Jessica Duff and with Mary Ann Archer.
POFEV is organizing and traveling across Virginia to Pride celebrations, congregations, interfaith services, and clergy lunches, with new events scheduled weekly. To learn more about what POFEV is doing each week and when we might be in your community, please check out our Events page. Our Events page also has links to stories about past events of note like Pride Festivals and Interfaith Services.
If you like for POFEV to speak or be a part of an event in your community or congregation, contact Robin Gorsline at revdocrobin[at]gmail.com or use our Contact Us link. Until then, please join us at one of the events we'll have near you!
Recently, POFEV received some very good news . . . . the Laughing Gull Foundation , headquartered in Durham, N.C., awarded us a grant of $10,000 for each of three years beginning in 2013.
Here is part of what Meg Coward, President of the Foundation, said in her message, “the board of the Laughing Gull Foundation enthusiastically approved a grant to POFEV of $10k/yr for 3 yrs. We are all very excited by the possibilities ahead of you, and happy to be a part of this relaunch of POFEV.”
This is the first foundation grant received by POFEV, but President Robin Gorsline says it will not be the last.
“We are most grateful that in its first year of operation, Laughing Gull Foundation chose POFEV for generous support,” he said. Read More
POFEV joined with the Richmond, VA, NAACP to sponsor a showing of the Bayard Rustin biopic Brother Outsider at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church on August 28, 2013. Rustin, though most widely known for his role as the director of the 1963 March on Washington, also navigated through his adult life as an out gay man at a time when few in such public positions were willing to do so. Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist Michael Paul Williams wrote a magnificent account of the screening that raised the remarkable question, "What would have become of the March on Washington if homophobia had won?"
The event was part the March on Richmond for Jobs and Freedom co-sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Richmond, A. Phillip Randolph Institute, and Richmond NAACP, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. It was held in conjunction with the National Black Justice Coalition's effort to broaden recognition of Rustin's life and works. We were delighted that Kim Allen, President of the Richmond NAACP, joined the evening, along with many Quakers from the Richmond area (Rustin was a member of the Friends), and others from various parts of the community. Rustin was one of the truly great activists of the 20th Century, and we have much to learn from him.
POFEV is planning other events to celebrate Rustin's life and legacy in coming months. Look out for future announcements and learn more about Bayard Rustin's life at the Brother Outsider website. We also strongly urge you to see Brother Outsider for yourself online or on DVD through Netflix to learn about Bayard Rustin's remarkable life and contributions.
POFEV (People of Face for Equality in Virginia), P.O. Box 4419, Richmond, VA 23220 • 804-519-3196 • www.facebook.com/pofev
Rev. Dr. Robin Gorsline, President & CEO • firstname.lastname@example.org