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Rev Elder Freda Smith --  MCC Evangelist Rev Elder Freda Smith -- MCC Evangelist

Same Sex Marriage Same Sex Marriage

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      1975 Freda Smith Officiated at First Legal U.S. Gay Marriage with a government-issued civil marriage license

       

      MCC clergyperson Rev. Freda Smith and then-MCC clergyperson Robert Sirico (see https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/what-sirico-story-does-and-does-not-mean)  perform the first U.S. same-sex wedding conducted with a government-issued civil marriage license in Denver, Colorado for Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan. The witnesses were Rev. Elder Charlie Arehart and Rev. Troy Perry’s longtime assistant, Frank Zerilli. http://mccchurch.org/overview/history-of-mcc/mcc-and-marriage-equality/

       

      Image result for Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan image OR picture

      Advocate photo: Richard and Tony, Freda from back

       

       

       

      United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid  http://thepridela.com/2016/06/united-states-government-says-gay-couples-1975-marriage-is-valid/

      June 7, 2016 by thepride BY TROY MASTERS  |  The United States federal government has recognized as legally valid the April 1975 same-sex marriage of Richard Adams and Anthony Sullivan, approving the “green card” petition that Adams filed in 1975 for his husband, an Australian citizen.  After Adams died in December 2012, Sullivan sought to have the Immigration Service recognize their marriage and grant a green card to him as the widower of a U.S. citizen.

      The green card, granting Anthony permanent resident status in the United States, was issued on the 41st anniversary of his Boulder, Colorado marriage to Richard — a same-sex marriage that remained in the record and which was never invalidated by Colorado officials.

      Anthony Corbett Sullivan v. Immigration and Naturalization Service Legal Records, Coll2008-042

       

      http://thepridela.com/2016/06/united-states-government-says-gay-couples-1975-marriage-is-valid/
      History 
      Anthony Corbett Sullivan met Richard Frank Adams at the Closet Bar in Los Angeles in 1971 and within a few months they were living together. Sullivan, an Australian citizen had been traveling on a tourist visa, and by 1974 he had exhausted all his legal options to stay in the United States. It was at this time that Sullivan and Adams decided to fight for their right to continue to live together in the United States. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) initiated deportation proceedings in April 1975, but granted Sullivan a continuance to file for political asylum on the grounds that he would face persecution if he returned to Australia. During the continuance it came to Sullivan and Adams’ attention that marriage licenses were being granted to same-sex couples in Colorado; they traveled to Colorado and were married on April 21, 1975, by Robert A. Sirico and Freda Smith, both ordained ministers of the Universal Fellowship of the Metropolitan Community Church (UFMCC). Adams then petitioned the INS for spousal status for Sullivan; while the petition was being considered, the INS adjourned Sullivan’s deportation hearing. When the deportation hearing resumed in February 1980, Sullivan sought its suspension, claiming that deportation would cause extreme hardship to himself and Adams. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) rejected Sullivan’s hardship claims and refused to consider Adams to be “a qualifying relative to whom hardship may be shown under the express provisions of the statue.”

      One of the first things the couple did after they married was to return home to Los Angeles was to apply for spousal green card.

       

      Weeks later an official response came from the United States Depart of Justice Immigration and Naturalization Services office in downtown Los Angeles: “You have failed to establish that a bona fide marital relationship can exist between two faggots.”

       

      Their lawyer, David M. Brown, appealed the BIA’s ruling in Adams v. Howerton. 

      Forty Years Later:

      United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid  http://thepridela.com/2016/06/united-states-government-says-gay-couples-1975-marriage-is-valid/

      Never Give Up