Dallas lesbian couple 1 of at least 5 couples participating in a marriage equality march and mass wedding Saturday in downtown Dallas
DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
Ashlyn Jones and Amanda Evans are getting married in downtown Dallas this weekend. They invited 50 of their friends, but would like everyone to attend.
“I want people I don’t even know to come and say, ‘Congratulations,’” Jones said. “That would be awesome.”
Jones and Evans are one of at least five couples that will participate in a mass wedding on Saturday evening at Founder’s Plaza in front of the Dallas County Records Building, as part of a protest in support of marriage equality.
Event organizer Daniel Cates said the couples are encouraged to apply for a marriage license inside the Records Building earlier in the week, even though those applications will be denied.
Similar events sponsored by GetEQUAL and P-FLAG are being held in about 10 cities across the state. In addition to the major cities, Harlingen, Brownsville, Huntsville and Odessa also have marriage equality events planned.
Cates said that while Texas is not close to granting marriage equality, LGBT Texans must demand the right.
“Since the New York marriage victory, people in other states are fighting back,” Cates said. “Once we lost the marriage battle here, we stopped fighting.”
Jones said that the Saturday wedding ceremony will also be a celebration of their five-year anniversary as a couple.
“In front of all of our friends, we’ll tell each other that we love each other,” Jones said.
The couple met in high school, and “When we met, it was electricity,” Jones said.
But the two kept their relationship a secret for three years. Their school had no gay-straight alliance, although they attended Teen Project in downtown Fort Worth until that group shut its doors.
When the couple told their parents they were lesbians, Jones said she and Evans were shunned by their families. Although relations have gotten better, none of their family members will be attending the wedding.
Jones said she expects marriage equality to come to Texas
eventually, “But I think it’s an uphill battle.”
Jones said she works for a very conservative company with very conservative customers, and “I had a customer walk out when she heard me talk about my wedding.”
After the downtown event, Jones said she and Evans and their friends will go to Chili’s to celebrate and then the couple will leave on their honeymoon. They’re going to Granbury to relax and get away from work, she said.
“We talked about following this up with a New York wedding,” Jones said. And then she’d like to come home and just be accepted.
“I would love to be able to hold my wife’s hand in a mall without a mother coming up to me and telling me it’s wrong to do that in front of her children,” she said.
Cates said that couples who would like to participate in the wedding ceremony should arrive at 4 p.m. for a short rehearsal. At 4:30 p.m. there will be an open mike for 30 minutes before a sidewalk march.
Cates said that a street permit was denied because the police are stretched thin with the State Fair of Texas and the Occupy Dallas protests. Sidewalk marches require fewer officers.
After the march, two people will speak before the mass wedding takes place. Richard Curtin, better known as Edna Jean Robinson, will officiate. He will conduct a “white knot” ceremony rather than have the couples exchange rings. The white knot, a symbol of marriage equality, represents tying the knot.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 14, 2011.