DOMA Lawsuit Hits Home at Greene Street Friends School

By LAURA BENSHOFF | Newsworks.org
|  Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013  |  Updated 1:38 PM EDT
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Marriage Equality Hits Home at Friends School

AP

Sean Lewrence, of Philadelphia, holds up a flag during a June rally for gay marriage on Independence Mall.

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On Thursday night, an "open conversation about equality and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)" will get personal at Germantown's Greene Street Friends School.

In July, the ACLU "filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of 23 Pennsylvanians who wish to marry in Pennsylvania or want the Commonwealth to recognize their out-of-state marriages."

Among those who filed suit alleging DOMA, and a refusal to marry lesbian and gay couples, violates their fundamental rights are a grandmother of a current student and the parents of an alumna.

"When we saw the announcement of the ACLU's federal lawsuit, we noticed that many families related to Greene Street were involved," said Head of School Edward W. Marshall.

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"When we realized there were members of our own community involved in this case," he continued, "we thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to show our support, while at the same time help others in the community to better understand the impact of DOMA on gay and lesbian families in Pennsylvania."

Event specifics

To personalize the technical legalese involved, ACLU-PA attorney Molly Tack-Hooper will explain the suit itself and issues involved. Then, four families with ties to GSFS will share their experiences of same-sex partnership and how it has influenced their views on marriage.

Speakers include Reiser and Fernando Chang-Muy of Mt. Airy and Maureen Hennessey of Germantown.

Marshall said the conversation matches GSFS' inclusive principles that hold, "Central to the mission of Greene Street Friends School is a celebration of diversity in our families, including sexual orientation and family structure."

"We are pleased to host the 'Conversation on Equality' with a focus on same-sex marriage and highlight groundbreaking members of our school community," he said.

The 7 p.m. event, which will be held at the Greene Street Friends School Meeting House (45 W. School House Lane), is free and open to the public.


This story is reported through a newsgathering partnership between NBC10.com and NewsWorks.org.

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