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.
Tracy Simmons is an award-winning journalist specializing in religion reporting and digital entrepreneurship. In her approximate 20 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti. Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas, Connecticut and Washington. She is the executive director of SpokaneFāVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Washington. She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and national publications. She is a Scholarly Assistant Professor of Journalism at Washington State University.