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Ferndalians Channel Leaders Past, Spread Love…

Ferndalians Channel Leaders Past, Spread Love in Hopes for Equality (video)

(Crystal A. Proxmire, March 3, 2014)

Blowing bubbles, singing a freedom song, and breathing in the cleansing scent of burning sage were all part of a “love ritual” held at HowesLocationAffirmations on Sunday in honor of April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, the Hazel Park couple suing the State of Michigan for the ability to marry and to jointly adopt their three children.

The two-hour ritual brought nearly 100 supporters to the LGBT community center, where they not only reveled in positive vibes, but channeled the spirits of civil rights activists of the past.  Participants held photos with stories on the back, which they read in honor of community heroes.  Among them were LGBT activists like Harvey Milk, Oscar Wilde, Ruth Ellis, Henry Messer, Susan Pittmann and Christine Puckett. There were also leaders in the previous equality movements, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jeremy Bentham, Eleanor Rosevelt, Ella Baker and Viola Gregg Liuzzo.

Jackie Smith, owner of the Candle Wick Shop in Ferndale, led the love ritual. “We’re going to take fear and transform it into love,” Smith said. “Because what fear is, is a message from our ego that says ‘Hang on a minute somebody is challenging your beliefs. Hang on a minute, you don’t want to go there’. This is BTLWeddingExpo_144x360something different then you know, and it may cause work, and it may cause me to be something else. So fear is really just an illusion. It’s a trick that we play upon ourselves.”

Smith thanked the civil rights leaders of the past for securing her freedom to be in an inter-racial marriage, and hopes that the DeBoer case can pave the way for same-sex couples to have the same right. “In the peaceful fight for our civil rights, And now gay rights, The LGBT community, this is of course the next step in our evolution as human beings.”

Those present wrote negative thoughts on large sheets of paper, which were then covered over by rainbow color marker-made words of hope and healing.  They blew bubbles and popped them as symbols of overcoming struggles. Participants then took pennies and bags of glitter with them to spread through the city as “seeds of hope.”

“This trial is a reminder of how isolating and cruel the world can be. By standing together and showing our JudyPalmer01support and love we hope to help ease the struggle that April and Jayne are going through for all of us,” said co-organizer Nan Kerr-Mueller who is a parent and a Ferndale School Board Trustee.

The DeBoer trial is expected to conclude this week, though it could take several weeks for the judge to make his decision.

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