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Berwyn church hosts rally in support of gay marriage

Published: Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 3:14 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 8:49 a.m. CDT

BERWYN – Berwyn: Hometown to world famous rockers, actors and athletes, the famous and the infamous. From pasta to pozole, hot dogs to roast husa, Berwyn is wonderfully, successfully and appetizingly diverse.

Julie Boleyn, pastor of the Unity Lutheran Church, believes Berwyn is a place with open arms: A welcoming town that has over the years developed a large lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. It's what drew the pastor and her partner, Jeanine Reardon, to Berwyn to raise their four-year-old daughter, Madelyn.  

That's reason enough to rally gay and straight residents to show support for the Marriage Equality in Illinois March to be held Oct. 22 in Springfield by holding a pre-rally at the church Tuesday.

"It's important to let legislators know there are a lot of people in Berwyn who support marriage equality," Boleyn said. "I don't want to have to explain to my daughter why some parents can't be married. We're hopeful Illinois will be the 24th state to make it happen for families like my own."

Jose Ramirez, who owns Over the Ranbow on Windsor Ice Cream Shop in the Depot District with his partner, Michael Stebbins, said he's right on board with Boleyn.

"My partner and I have been together 23 years," Ramirez said. It's never been an issue in Berwyn, whether you're gay or straight. When you look around Berwyn there are so many gay and straight couples. Our kids all intermingle. For this day and age, for it to be an issue in Illinois, it's kind of ludicrous."

A Community Worship Service is planned for Coming out Day at 7 p.m. Oct. 10, at Unity Lutheran Church of Berwyn, 6720 W. 31st St.

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