Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gay-rights activists to rally near Delicate Arch

Gay-rights activists to rally near Delicate Arch - Salt Lake Tribune
Gay-rights activists hope to build a bridge to their fellow Utahns before the state's most iconic span: Delicate Arch.

On Saturday, more than 60 people plan to gather in view of the redrock wonder to rally support for Equality Utah's Common Ground Initiative.

The effort is a collection of five bills, aimed at the upcoming legislative session, that would provide legal protections to same-sex couples, such as hospital visitation and inheritance rights, and forbid discrimination against gay and transgender people in employment and housing. Equality Utah also is lobbying leaders to extend health-insurance benefits to the domestic partners of state employees.

Delicate Arch is "an important symbol for all Utahns," said organizer Michael Mueller, founder of the Facebook community Utahns for Marriage Equality. "We're all Utahns first -- gay, straight, whatever."

Mueller, who is straight and married, said, "There are certain rights that all people should have."

Participants will gather in the Delicate Arch parking lot at Arches National Park near Moab from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and then walk to a viewpoint for a rally. The group skipped a march to the arch itself because ice makes the trail dangerous during the winter...

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