Gay groups walk to protest Senate gay marriage vote

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A US gay group is hosting a coast to coast bridge walk in support of gay marriage tomorrow in response to the upcoming Senate vote deciding whether to ban same sex marriage.

Marriage Equality USA (MEUSA) and Marriage Equality New York (MENY) are hosting simultaneous walks across the Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples.

“On June 5th, anti-equality forces in the US Senate are again bringing the discriminatory Federal Marriage Constitutional Amendment for a vote. We will gather together the diverse array of those in favour of liberty, justice and marriage equality to redouble our outreach and educational efforts.

“The Coast-to-Coast Bridge Walks will raise visibility and educate fair-minded Americans about the 1400 protections that come with civil marriage and the harms that befall same-sex couples because of marriage discrimination,” said Davina Kotulski, MEUSA executive director.

In San Francisco, Jennifer Schumaker, a lesbian mother of four and active church member, will join the Golden Gate Bridge walk to complete the last 5 miles of her 500 mile “Walk for Togetherness” in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion. “I have seen how sharing my personal story as a lesbian parent with the hundreds of people I have encountered on my Walk is helping more Americans realise that these divisive efforts to restrict marriage only weaken our country.

Ms Schumaker, writer, lesbian, and single soccer mum of four, started walking over 500 miles, from San Diego to San Francisco in April she said: “in many ways, it is easier to walk 500 miles than to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in America.

“We all have a responsibility to help bridge the gap between the LGBT community and our basic civil rights.”

Senate majority leader Bill Frist who is pioneering the Federal Marriage Amendment said: “It’s important to the heart and soul of the American people.

“That union between a man and a woman is the cornerstone of our society. It is under attack today.”

The Federal Marriage Amendment, to be debated on June 6 2006, would define marriage as the union between a man and a woman, thereby making any same-sex marriage in the US illegal.

US President George W Bush is rumoured to support the amendment.