October 26, 2020
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Classic Signals: Students promote marriage equality

By Jane Bowden
Features Editor

This June marks four years since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country.

In an April 2004 issue of The Signal, a reporter wrote about same-sex couples participating in a mock wedding ceremony in an effort to promote equality. Because gay marriage hadn’t yet been legalized in all 50 states, the event drew mixed reactions of both support and uneasiness.

Same-sex couples participate in mock gay marriage (Photo courtesy of the TCNJ Digital Archives).

Four same-sex couples, all comprised of students from the College, were married in a mock wedding ceremony last Wednesday in the atrium of the Social Sciences Building.

Cameras flashed throughout the ceremony, capturing the procession of three female couples and one male couple down the aisle, their exchanges of vows and rings, and their first kisses as “husband and husband,” “wife and wife.”

The program, which was intended to educate about and encourage acceptance of gay marriage, attracted a supportive crowd and proceeded without any protest, contrary to expectations.

Marne Clune, sophomore business major, and Ryan Androsiglio, senior psychology and sociology major, coordinated the event to fulfill their community service program requirement as community advisors (CAs).

The Gay Union of Trenton State (GUTS) at the College cosponsored the event.

The couples joined in mock marriage were Amanda Gerson and Sylvia Lugo, Meghan Thompson and Jessie Povolo, Amber Ramsey and Amy Renx, and John Kelley and Steven Schweixer.

Ramsey and Renx, and Kelley and Schweixer are actual couples. The others volunteered to act as if they were to make a statement.

Kelley, freshman communications major, and Clune both said they expected opponents of gay marriage to attend. Any who did created no disturbance.

Clune said some flyers promoting the program had been torn down around campus and acknowledged this as a consequence of dealing with such a controversial issue.

“We are trying to shake things up a bit,” Clune said. “We are looking to educate people on an issue that they might not be comfortable educating themselves on.”

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