Friday, July 31, 2009

Commitment Ceremony Organized in WI State Capitol

Press release from Capitol Pride:
Madison, July 28, 2009 – Same-sex couples from across Wisconsin will take part in a commitment ceremony at the state capitol on August 14th as part of a weekend-long gay pride festival in Madison. Wisconsin Capitol Pride has organized the commitment ceremony to take place in the rotunda of the state capitol building starting at 5:00 pm.

The ceremony will take place less than two weeks after Wisconsin’s new domestic partnership legislation goes into effect. Starting on August 3rd, same-sex couples can register to receive some legal rights; such as hospital visitation rights and the ability to take Family Medical Leave (FMLA) to care for a loved one. Participants in the ceremony are encouraged to register their domestic partnership at the event.

“This is an important moment,” said Scott Willems, Senior Co-Chair of Wisconsin Capitol Pride. “We’re encouraged to see Wisconsin’s government leaders taking steps toward affording basic rights to same-sex couples, and there’s no better place to celebrate that than right in the state capitol.”

A number of clergy from the Madison-area faith community will preside over the ceremony and other faith organizations have committed their support. Supporters include: First Congregational, First Unitarian, Fitchburg Memorial UCC, James Reeb Unitarian, Lake Edge Lutheran, Mc Farland UCC, Plymouth UCC, UW Hillel Integrity/Dignity, Sufi Movement International, First Baptist Church, Spiritual Life Ministries, Madison Jewish Council, St. Francis House, Affirmation, and Coming Out.

“While the ritual itself will be brief, the effects for all of us could be long-ranging,” said Derwin Leigh, organizer of the ceremony. “Justice, denied for so long to those gifted by God with a gay or lesbian orientation, may find cause for renewed hope in the small step forward that the State Registry represents.”

Several restaurants in the capitol square/downtown area are taking reservations for celebratory dinners after the commitment ceremony. See www.wisconsincapitolpride.org for a listing of restaurants. Couples and individuals interested in attending or taking part in the commitment ceremony are asked to contact Derwin Leigh via email at dleigh@wisconsincapitolpride.org.

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