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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Couples exchange vows at Married in Unity
Video links below
2014-06-01

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On the first day of marriage equality throughout the state of Illinois June 1, Unity in Chicago hosted "Married in Unity," an all-inclusive, non-denominational group wedding ceremony in the Unity garden at the church.

Rev. Heidi Alfrey, the church's senior minister, officiated the ceremony for forty same- and opposite-sex couples. Among them were couples making commitments without legal documentation and married couples renewing their vows.

"This is a huge celebration of love....Unity was started over 100 years ago, based the idea that God is not outside of us judging but inside of us and is of love and life."

David Viggiano, chief organizer of the event, welcomed the couples as they came in one by one, some with children. Hundreds of people watched on from the sidelines, under beautiful skies.

Viggiano gave the following breakdown for couples at the event: 19 Lesbian, 9 gay and 12 straight; 15 were legally wed [either for the first time or had a civil union transferred to marriage—9 lesbian and 6 gay]; 25 renewed vows or expressed commitment: (10 lesbian, 3 gay and 12 straight).

Maggie Bynum sang musical selections including "At Last" for the couples.

Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times, spoke of the long struggle leading to this day. "This is an amazing day. Soak it in; it is one you'll remember all your lives, for the allies here as well as for the LGBT community. This is truly something we owe to millions of people who came before us. To paraphrase Maya Angelou, who we lost this week, 'We are all phenomenal people' here today and we're on the backs of many we've lost, including Vernita Gray who [with her partner Pat Ewert] was the first able to get a marriage license here in Illinois."

Videos by Tracy Baim and Jean Albright

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Windy City Times: Unity in Chicago marriage event 6-1-2014, 1 of 5 at the link: www.youtube.com/watch .

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Windy City Times: Unity in Chicago marriage event 6-1-2014, 2 of 5 at the link: www.youtube.com/watch .

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Windy City Times: Unity in Chicago marriage event 6-1-2014, 3 of 5 at the link: www.youtube.com/watch .

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Windy City Times: Unity in Chicago marriage event 6-1-2014, 4 of 5 at the link: www.youtube.com/watch .

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Windy City Times: Unity in Chicago marriage event 6-1-2014, 5 of 5 at the link: www.youtube.com/watch .



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