The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

LGBTQ advocates picket for marriage equality

By Erin Ratigan/tr news editor

Left: Former president of TR Campus’ TREE club Gail Lockwood is hugged by her daughter Jessica Taylor at the marriage equality rally in Fort Worth Feb. 8.
Left: Former president of TR Campus’ TREE club Gail Lockwood is hugged by her daughter Jessica Taylor at the marriage equality rally in Fort Worth Feb. 8.
Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian   Several protesters gathered for the rally in front of Avoca Coffee on Magnolia Avenue with handmade picket signs.
Photos by Georgia Phillips/The Collegian Several protesters gathered for the rally in front of Avoca Coffee on Magnolia Avenue with handmade picket signs.

TR student Damon Carver was one of several protesters who participated in a marriage equality rally in Fort Worth Feb. 8.

The protesters met at Avoca Coffee on Magnolia Avenue with handmade picket signs. On one sign was a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Nobody is free until we are all free.”

The rally was in support of two Texas couples who filed class-action lawsuits against the state over a 2005 constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Oral arguments in that case begin Feb. 12.

Carver said that while Texas is a conservative state, social change is taking place.

“Nobody here has the necessity that we had 10 years ago to hide who we are,” he said.

Same-sex marriage is a topic that has dominated the news in recent months as more states have moved toward legalization. Seventeen states have now legalized same-sex marriage.

In April, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will review an appeal from the state of Oklahoma on the constitutionality of that state’s gay marriage ban.

Carver said he is confident Texas will eventually repeal its ban on same-sex marriage. With the changes being made in other state legislatures, Carver said it is only a matter of time before Texas follows suit.

Among the protesters was C.D. Kirven, a representative from the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Questioning advocacy group GetEQUAL TX. Megaphone in hand, she voiced the frustrations of the protesters and urged bystanders to consider the human side of the issue.

She said though she is proud to be American, she will not feel truly free until she can marry her girlfriend.

“Love is beautiful,” she said. “If it’s between a man and a woman … a man and a man, or a woman and a woman, that’s their right. That is their liberty.”

What most moved Carver about Kirven’s speech was when she addressed the history behind the gay rights movement. Carver said the acknowledgement of gay people is quite recent.

“We’ve overcome a lot to even stand here as individuals,” he said.

The timing of the protest is significant as it was held a day after the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The games have faced some controversy over Russian laws regarding gays and have brought the debate over marriage equality to the national stage.

Kirven said when it comes to gay marriage, students should vote not only with their heads but with their hearts as well. She said voters should be both active and caring.

“Find some humanity and use that humanity,” she said. “God lies in acceptance of others’ flaws.”

Marriage activists like Beau Jiminez and “Major” Mark were arrested at the Dallas County Clerk’s Office in 2012 after being denied a marriage license and refusing to leave.
Marriage activists like Beau Jiminez and “Major” Mark were arrested at the Dallas County Clerk’s Office in 2012 after being denied a marriage license and refusing to leave.
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