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Ben & Jerry’s ‘celebrates freedom to marry’ in DC

News release from Ben & Jerry’s:

DCSB101

Peace, Love and Ice Cream Company Hosts Wedding and Reception for Local Couple in Nation’s Capital

Burlington, Vermont (March 11, 2010) – Now “I do” rings true for all couples in Washington D.C.following the historic and successful signing of the freedom to marry bill last week. In honor of this giant achievement for marriage equality, today Ben & Jerry’s celebrates the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry in the District of Columbia with a wedding and reception for local couple Keith Spangler-Vellios and Andreas Vellios at the Georgetown Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop.

Ben & Jerry’s Co-founder Jerry Greenfield, D.C. Councilmember and sponsor of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 David Catania, Freedom to Marry Director of New Media Michael Crawford, along with friends and family will celebrate the couple’s vows with a special wedding ice cream cake and ceremonial traditions.

Following the symbolic renaming of Ben & Jerry’s well-known ice cream flavor “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby” in September 2009 to celebrate the legalization of gay and lesbian marriages in its home state of Vermont, the company continues to demonstrate its commitment to social justice, including gay rights and its partnership with the non-profit Freedom to Marry, the leading campaign to win marriage nationwide.

“Equal rights and treatment for all people was a founding principle of Ben & Jerry’s when we started the company over 30 years ago,” said Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. “We are proud that the District of Columbia is recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry and are happy to celebrate the milestone with an ice cream wedding cake and best wishes for the happy couple.”

City Councilmember David Catania will make a toast to the couple and will speak about the meaning of marriage equality for the District of Columbia and beyond. To keep the momentum of this movement, Ben & Jerry’s and Freedom to Marry will continue to raise awareness for marriage equality and encourage consumers to take action and urge states to pass similar legislation by visiting freedomtomarry.org.

“The issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in America’s capital marks a significant victory for the national movement to secure the freedom to marry, and a great joy for D.C. couples who no longer need to leave home to secure the protections and responsibilities of marriage for their families. Washington D.C. now joins the five states and eight countries where same-sex couples share in the freedom to marry.” said Evan Wolfson, Executive Director of Freedom to Marry.

For more information on why marriage matters and to take action in your state, log on to freedomtomarry.org.  To learn more about Ben & Jerry’s social mission, log on to benjerry.com.

Caption: Andreas Vellios (left) and Keith Spangler-Vellios (right) exchange vows in front of Reverend Lance Orndorff (middle) at the Ben & Jerry’s Georgetown Scoop Shop on Thursday following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the nation’s capitol last week. Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, and D.C. Councilmember David Catania who introduced the District’s marriage equality legislation, were on hand to celebrate the occasion and toast the newlyweds with a special ice cream cake. (Stephen J Boitano, AP)

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