Hundreds Rally in Support of Same-Sex Marriage (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson

July 1, 2013 Updated Jan 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM EST

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - The sidewalks surrounding the Allen County Courthouse were filled with people Monday rallying in support of same-sex marriage. The rally was in response to an event that was supporting marriage as being between one man and one woman. That event was hosted by a group of local clergy called Shepherds United.

Hundreds attended both rallies. Each group focused on sending their message in a peaceful manner.

"We live the same way everyone else lives, but we don't have the same rights they do and that's why I'm here today. Because I believe she (my daughter) deserves every equal treatment that everyone kid here does, that has heterosexual parents," said Jacob Calyton, supporter of same-sex marriage.

For a father, it was about his daughter. For a mother, who rallied in support of same sex-marriage, it was all about her son.

"I do not believe that one person should have any more rights than another person. My husband and I are the proud parents of two sons, one of them has more rights than the other," said Debbie Branfield, supporter of same-sex marriage.

Although Shepherds United is supporting, what they call, traditional marriage. There are several other local churches supporting same-sex marriage.

"I think they're well intentioned but I don't think that Jesus would have encouraged the kind of division I'm hearing with this group," said Archbishop Robert Zahrt, The Orthodox Catholic Church of America.

On Monday, Zahrt joined the same-sex marriage advocates. He believes what needs to happen is for both groups to listen to each other.

"It's much easier to create barriers, to isolate, and I don't believe that's very productive," said Zahrt.

Also rallying Monday, in support of same-sex marriage, was a large group from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne.

"Our faith tells us that we must harness God's love to end oppression," said Rev. Misty-Dawn Shelly, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Wayne.

"The difference between God and human beings is God is always reconciling," said Zahrt.

Nationwide, the LGBT community is celebrating the Supreme Court of the United State's decision last week that allows legally married same-sex couples to have federal benefits. But for same-sex couples living in Indiana but legally married in other states, they're still unsure if they'll be eligible for federal benefits.




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