Local teen plans marriage equality event

By |2009-05-07T09:00:00-04:00May 7th, 2009|News|

by Jessica Carreras

Barely old enough to marry himself, Anthony Wagner, an 18-year-old Henry Ford Community College student, is organizing a pro-gay marriage event for this Saturday, May 9, from 2-4 p.m. at Ford Field in Dearborn.
The event, cleverly titled Take a Photo, Save a Marriage, localizes a project that began in California after the passage of Proposition 8, which took away the marriage rights of gays and lesbians in that state. The project, part of the Courage Campaign, is called “Please Don’t Divorce…” and features photos of people holding signs that say “Please don’t divorce” followed by their own names, or the names of a same-sex couple they care about. Entries include photos of couples with their children or pets, or people urging the government to let their friends, aunts, uncles or even people they don’t know stay together.
Wagner, inspired and touched by the project, decided to recreate it right in his hometown.
“It’s basically a big photo shoot,” he said bluntly.
Wagner and his friends are trying to get as many people as possible to come to Ford Field to have a large group photo taken with a sign that reads “Please don’t divorce anyone.” Then, people will have the option of having their individual or smaller group photos taken.
Afterward, Wagner plans to send the album to a list he has compiled of media outlets and politicians around the state to garner some attention for the cause. “It’s kind of just a peaceful eye-opener,” he said.
Wagner, who started the Dearborn High School Gay Straight Alliance several years ago and held events at that school, including the National Day of Silence, said he felt the issue of same-sex marriage was too important to ignore, or to sit idly by and watch.
“I’ve always been a big organizer,” he explained, “so I decided that it’s time to stop thinking about it and complaining about it and actually do something about it.”
His hopes are high, including recognition by media and the legislators he contacts. “I’m hoping that the Congressmen and women who make the decisions on what laws are passed dealing with hate crimes, dealing with same-sex marriage or same sex unions, dealing with anything to do with the LGBT community, that they pass laws in favor of supporting this community,” he said. “…we deserve the same, equal treatment as everybody else. I really want them to listen and I think that – especially because people still see me as very young – I hope to make a bigger impact and make a statement with this.”

Take a Photo, Save a Marriage
2-4 p.m. May 9
Ford Field, Dearborn
313-580-0801

For more information on the Courage Campaign, visit http://www.couragecampaign.org.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.