May 21, 2014 at 4:30 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. cookouts highlight marriage fight
Equality Virginia, cookouts, gay news, Washington Blade

Equality Virginia organized a series of cookouts last weekend to highlight its support of same-sex marriage in the state. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Equality Virginia last weekend organized a series of cookouts designed to highlight support of marriage rights for same-sex couples in the commonwealth.

Kelly Cole and Suzanne Freeze, who married in D.C. in 2011, hosted nearly 45 people at their Fairfax County home on May 18. State Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Fairfax County) is among those who attended.

“I look forward to the day when the debate over gay marriage will be over, and no one will doubt that anyone and everyone should be able to marry who they love,” said Marsden in a statement to the Washington Blade. “When people look back at the history of Virginia, the ban on marriage equality will be yet another chapter that we will have to explain to our children.”

Nearly two-dozen people attended a cookout that Dwayne and Rodney Byrum hosted at their Alexandria home on May 17.

The two men, who have been together for four years, married on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques last December.

“Everybody is kind of fighting the inevitable,” Dwayne Byrum told the Washington Blade.

The cookouts took place less than a week after a three-judge panel with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., heard oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the commonwealth’s same-sex marriage ban.

The judges are expected to announce their ruling in the coming months.

“It’s a long time coming,” Cole told the Blade when asked about when she thinks same-sex couples will be able to legally marry in Virginia. “I just can’t believe it’s not here.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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