Kissing for marriage equality

Justin Ellenbecker marches for gay rights/Tracy Simmons
Justin Ellenbecker marches for gay rights/Tracy Simmons

In response to the city council’s decision to table the issue of same-sex marriage in Spokane, a group of activists have organized a flash mob kiss-in at River Park Square this weekend.

According to the flash mob’s Facebook page, “As many of you know we may have to vote on the issue of whether or not everyone in Washington State has the right to legally marry. We our doing this flash mob to demonstrate our support of marriage equality.”

Those opposing Washington’s new same-sex marriage law have until June 6 to collect 120,577 valid voter signatures, which would put the legislation on hold and send the issue to the November ballot.

“It’s really, in my opinion, unfortunate that we are going to choose on rights for certain individuals (by potentially voting on same-sex marriage). I know if my wife and I had to wait on a vote to see if we could get married it would be disheartening,” said Justin Ellenbecker, a lead organizer.

He was at the city council meeting, where dozens of residents quoted the Bible, saying homosexuality is a sin and shouldn’t get the city’s blessing, including State Rep. John Ahern who said, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

Ellenbecker said it reminds him of the Civil Rights Movement, where he said people tried to use scriptures to prevent interracial couples from marrying.

“When comes to rights, they just exist, and voting on them is really an unfortunate thing,” he said. “It was only so long ago when people tried to use obscure (Bible) verses to voice how interracial couples couldn’t get married. Unfortunately they’re completely missing the meaning … the love for all that permeates from that book.”

At the kiss-in, couples, both heterosexual and same-sex, will be assigned designated spots to stand at the mall and will all kiss on cue before participating in a short procession through the mall.

More than 80 people are planning to participate.

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