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Event raises issue of gay marriage

November 3, 2008

Harmony invites campus into the discussion

There are a lot of people listening about how candidates are going to address issues that are important to them this election. With concerns like the economy being at the forefront of political discussion, the Harmony Club wanted to make sure issues that they care about aren’t forgotten.“We’re trying to raise awareness of queer issues in this election,” said Cate Fisher, club co-commissioner.

The club brought issues like gay marriage and domestic partner rights in the open with an educational display and an opportunity to speak out at the club’s program “We Matter: Think Before You Vote” last Tuesday in the UC.

It was the mission of the club to not only educate people about what the presidential candidates believed, but also the laws in each state – from inclusive to exclusive – and ballot measures that will affect the homosexual community.

“There’s a lot of animosity and energy about this election,” said Dmitry Mikheyev, club co-commissioner.

Although gay rights are not at the top of national political discussion at the moment, more and more people are paying attention to what is going on, he added.

“There’s a lot of people paying attention right now,” Fisher said. “We just want to make people aware of it.”

Club members decided a visual display made the greatest statement about the issues they care about.

On display at the event was a wedding dress with a groom’s jacket over it. Any one who wished to show their support of gay issues were invited to draw on the dress with their choice of colored markers.

“We just thought that it was a very stark image,” Mikheyev said. “Also we felt it was a very strong and unusual activism piece to get participation in the event.”

But club members weren’t beyond giving those that disagree with them a chance to express themselves.

A white board was placed near the wedding dress display to give those that oppose supporting gay issues a voice. A few students signed.

“We wanted to be all-inclusive,” Mikheyev said.