4th of July Rally for Marriage Equality

Join hundreds of marriage equality supporters at Leif Erikson Park Monday, July 4, from 1-3 p.m. The event is organized by Duluth United for All Families and kicks off a 17-month campaign to defeat the amendment banning recognition of marriage for LGBT couples in Minnesota. A walk along the Lakewalk to Bayfront Park begins at 3 p.m. The event will be held rain or shine; all are welcome!

1 p.m.: Family Picnic and Free Entertainment
Families are encouraged to bring picnic lunches; free beverages and ice cream will be provided. Face painting, hair braiding and Frisbee games will be organized. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Rachael Kilgour Band with Adeline Wright and Leon Rohrbaugh, joined by Chris Modec-Halvorson. T-shirts and American and LGBT rainbow flags will be on sale.

2 p.m.: Rally Begins
Masters of Ceremonies
Gary Anderson, an advocate for gay rights and president of DUFAF, along with his partner Gary Boelhower will emcee the rally.

2:10 p.m.: Keynote Address
Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt, gay rights advocates and parents of Corporal Andrew Wilfahrt, will speak. Andrew Wilfahrt, who served under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was killed in Afghanistan Feb. 27, 2011. Jeff Wilfahrt recently testified before Minnesota’s Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee and the House Civil Affairs Committee against the marriage amendment.

2:20-2:50 p.m.: Additional Speakers
Lynn and Dane Youngblom, DUFAF organizing committee members, are the parents of an adult gay son. They are featured in a new video created by students at UMD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9hclGdGXTI

Rev. David Bard, pastor at First United Methodist Church and advocate for gay rights will speak about religious perspectives.

Sarah and Megan Perry-Spears will share the story of their family with three children, their marriage in Massachusetts, and move to Minnesota where their marriage is not recognized.

2:50 p.m.: Blessing of the Families
Area clergy will perform a “Blessing of the Families” ceremony for families of all faiths and configurations. Clergy confirmed to date include:

Rev. William Van Oss, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Rev. Catherine Schuyler, Duluth Congregational Church
Rabbi David Steinberg, Temple Israel
Rev. David Bard, First United Methodist
Rev. Charlotte Frantz, Pilgrim Congregational-United Church of Christ
Rev. Sally Maxwell (Unitarian)
Chaplain Gudrun Witrak

3 p.m.: Celebration Walk to Bayfront Park
Following the rally, participants will walk along the Lakewalk in white T-shirts with the DUFAF logo, waving American and rainbow flags, and singing.

Visit duluth.unitedforallfamilies.com/ for more information.

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