Young Adults Complete 96 Mile Walk Across Phoenix

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SOULFORCE MEDIA ADVISORY: August 26, 2008
For Immediate Release
Contact: Meg Sneed, Arizona Right to Marry
Phone: 623-262-6696
Email: meg@righttomarry.org
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(Phoenix, AZ)–Meg Sneed and her team of six other lesbian and gay young adults have completed their pilgrimage across metropolitan Phoenix. Over the week of August 10-15, the group walked 96 miles to talk with Arizonans about how Proposition 102, a constitutional amendment on this November’s ballot, would negatively impact young people.

The average temperature during their walk was 105 degrees.

The idea for the walk came to Sneed after participating in a three-day walk for breast cancer research. As a cancer survivor herself, Sneed found distance walking both grueling and empowering. She hoped that a similar walk would inspire young people to join the conversation about Arizona’s priorities.

Proposition 102 would define marriage as between one man and one woman. Opponents like Sneed point out that state law already prohibits same-sex marriage and Arizona voters defeated similar legislation in 2006.

Along the route, the young "equality walkers" shared their perspectives with ordinary citizens, elected officials, and local community organizations, including the Tempe Community Council. They were welcomed for conversation at several churches, including the Unitarian Universalist Church in Surprise and the Church of the Beatitudes, Central United Methodist Church, and All Saints Episcopal Church in Phoenix.

"I realize now just how much difference I can make in my community," says walker C.J. Minott, who will be returning to University of Arizona campus this fall to continue his studies in Psychology.

"These young people truly amazed me," says Julie Roberts, Programs Director at Equality Arizona. "Their dedication to this walk and their sense of purpose was incredible."

Sneed and the other walkers are members of Soulforce Q, the young adult division of Soulforce, a national civil rights and social justice organization. Soulforce Q collaborated with Equality Arizona and two other statewide organizations, Arizona Together and Wingspan, in the planning and execution of this campaign.

Soulforce envisions freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance.

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