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Students say ‘I do’ — support marriage

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OREM — It looked like a wedding reception was being held Monday in the middle of the Utah Valley State College campus.

No vows were exchanged — but it served as a pledge by a politically conservative college group to help pass any law that would prohibit same-sex marriage in the United States.

Steady crowds gathered to eat cake served by students dressed as a bride and groom and to sign a petition defining marriage between a man and woman.

State Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, and Rep. Becky Lockhart, R-Provo also attended the rally and talked to the students about what's happening in state and federal governments regarding the issue of same-sex marriage, including a proposed constitutional amendment that would legally make marriage only between one man and one woman.

UVSC's College Republicans also asked students to sign a petition, which they plan to tack onto a national petition supporting bans of legal homosexual unions.

By the end of the day, 350 people on the 20,000-student campus had signed the petition.

The rally was the same format as those organized by College Republicans at Utah State University and the University of Utah. Larissa Poll, president of the UVSC College Republicans, said she hopes students at other college campuses will follow suit.

And like other pro-traditional marriages, UVSC's event attracted protesters, although their numbers were few.

"I don't support a constitutional amendment defining marriage," said Dave Kallas, a 23-year-old UVSC student. "I think more people on either side of the issue would have come if they heard about it (the rally)."

Kevin Petersen, one of the leaders in the UVSC gay-straight alliance, and other members of the club also turned out to protest.

Petersen and other club members spoke to Bramble and Lockhart at the event about their stances. Petersen said the discussion went well — but he wished his club would have been told about the event in advance so it could have presented another side to the crowd.

"The rally was more discriminatory," Petersen said. "It wasn't like I don't support traditional marriage, but I support other marriages as well . . . it was like come and eat cake if you support only traditional marriage."

E-mail: jdoria@desnews.com