For Immediate Release
June 17, 2008
Contact: Steve Ralls
(202) 467-8180, ext. 214 / firstname.lastname@example.org
PFLAG Celebrates, Congratulates California Couples
“Our Country Is At Its Best When Every American Is Secure In Every Freedom,” Group Says
Washington, DC –
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) joined couples in California today in celebrating the start of marriage equality across the state. Beginning today, all 58 counties in the state will begin issuing marriage licenses, following dozens of weddings on Monday evening, including that of Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 84, who have been together for more than 50 years.
“Today, all loving California couples stand equal in the eyes of the law, and every family is stronger because of that,” said Jody M. Huckaby, PFLAG’s executive director. “Our fundamental freedom to marry the one we love. PFLAG joins our chapters, parents and allies in California as they celebrate this historic day.”
Ken and Molleen Matsumura of PFLAG’s Oakland, California chapter, whose daughter Elly married her partner in San Francisco in 2004, said that marriages in the state are “a defense of the best that marriage and family can be.”
“All loving parents hope to see their child secure in the love of their chosen partner in life, if the child chooses to marry,” the Matsumuras said
. “That means someone who can visit her in the hospital, tell the doctors what to do if she can't speak for herself, share their earnings and insurance and support each other in building financial security [and] share a name if they so choose.”
California is the second state to recognize same-sex unions. According to the Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles, more than 102,000 same-sex couples live in the state, and more than 50,000 plan to wed in the next three years.
A November ballot initiative, however, seeks to roll-back marriage rights in the state.
"California has taken a remarkable step forward, and we owe it to our families and loved ones to not turn back,” Huckaby said. “Dignity and respect should never be up for a vote, and our families should not be subject to political debates and battles. PFLAG is committed to working with our friends in California to ensure that, today and every day, we keep our promise that ‘all men are created equal.’”
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PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity. For more information, visit www.pflag.org.