LGBT group to rally for gay rights
HUNTINGTON -- For the second year, a grassroots group of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) citizens and supporters plan to rally at the Cabell County courthouse in Huntington this Valentine's Day supporting same sex marriage in West Virginia.
Encouraged by the first "Apply for Equality" event last Feb. 14, organizers Justin Murdock and fiancé William Glavaris along with straight ally Raine Klover are preparing for a bigger event.
The rally will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, with interfaith speakers and an invocation, and run until 2 p.m. At the same time, same sex couples will enter the courthouse to apply for marriage licenses.
"We understand and realize that just as last year, we won't be getting a marriage license this year," said Murdock. "... It's about making a public statement that we want equal rights to marriage in the state of West Virginia. There is momentum building for marriage equality on a state by state level and the federal level and we just want our friends and neighbors here in Cabell County and across West Virginia to know that it is not some 'far away' issue, but an issue that affects nearly 40,000 LGBT residents right here in West Virginia. Its time for a positive dialogue on marriage equality here at home."
Last year about 40 people attended the event throughout the day. There were also more than a half-dozen counter protesters at last year's event, most of whom cited Bibilical references as the source of their opposition to same sex marriage.
Klover said dialogue with those who were protesting the LGBT rally was fruitful to some degree.
"I think we did make some inroads and we had some really good conversations throughout the day," Klover said. "One person that Justin attached himself to, they ended up best buds and had a photo with their arms around each other holding up signs with opposite messages."
There are nine states that permit same-sex marriage, including Washington, Maine, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
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