On Monday night, more than 250 students and community members joined the Equality Delaware Foundation and eleven student organizations at the University of Delaware’s Trabant Theater for a rally in support of marriage equality in the First State. Following a live set by DJ Mischief, the audience heard stories from students including Jessica Snyder, Victor Gomez, Amber Johnson, Loren Belforti, Tom Robertson, and Brenna Crombie.
“This topic hits home in my life, as my older brother came out about a year ago. It pains me to think that he would be restricted from being a part of the beautiful experience that is marriage,” said Charlie Field, President of Deltronica.
Mary Crowley, President of the UD Democrats, said, “It’s about the freedom to marry the person that you love. It’s about standing up as a society for a broader, more complete vision of what it means to be a family.”
Additionally, recently engaged UD alumnus Joe Daigle of the Barbara Gittings Stonewall Democrats spoke about his “Blue Hen Love Story” at the university, and where it’s led. “Since graduating in 2011, we’ve started our careers and bought a house together. Now, we are busy gardening, debating which dog breed to adopt, and creating community with our neighbors.”
Mark Purpura of the Equality Delaware Foundation and Lisa Goodman of Equality Delaware Inc, the education and advocacy branches of Equality Delaware respectively, reminded the assembled students and Newarkians about the stakes this year in Delaware, as well as the enormous progress we have made in the past decade. State Representative Paul Baumbach discussed the legislative processes that will face the bill when it enters the legislature in the coming weeks.
U.S. Senator Chris Coons spoke passionately by video from Washington about the powerful role students can play this year in being on the front lines of history. Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and Governor Jack Markell sounded similar themes, urging the audience members to make history happen, not just watch it happen.
The crowd, representing diverse groups from LGBTQ youth to UD Greek Life, was fired up and ready to knock on doors and make calls. Special thanks to the UD College Democrats, Haven, Amnesty International, Active Minds, the Resident Student Association, MANNRS, Students Acting for Gender Equity, VOX, V-Day, Uganda Untold, and Deltronica for their support and organization of this rally.